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Broccoli Salad

Broccoli doesn’t have to be blah. This colorful and healthy recipe perfectly merges tangy, tart and fresh.

August 7, 2017

Tender-crisp broccoli is dressed up with goat cheese, dried cherries, nuts and a light honey-Dijon vinaigrette. This colorful and healthy salad disappeared quickly at a recent neighborhood potluck.


  • 1-and-1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets, stems cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup red onion, cut in small dice
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pistachios, pecans, or your favorite nut
  • 4 ounces goat cheese

Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the broccoli first so that it has time to drain. Fill a very large bowl with ice and water and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the broccoli pieces and cook until just tender, about 2-and-1/2 minutes, just until bright green and crisp-tender. Resist the temptation to leave them in longer.

Drain the broccoli and immediately plunge into ice water to stop cooking. If you are lucky enough to have a pasta-pot insert, this is perfect for the job — the water automatically drains and you can plunge the whole pot into the ice water.

Drain as soon as broccoli is cool, picking out any remaining ice. When well-drained, transfer broccoli to a large salad bowl.

While the broccoli drains, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard and olive oil. Adjust flavor to taste.

Add the diced onion, dried cherries and nuts to the salad bowl and toss to combine. Toss with the dressing, and top with broken pieces of goat cheese.

Store in the refrigerator. Leftovers are wonderful but the broccoli loses some color, so this salad is best served the same day it’s prepared.

Cook’s note: This salad is also great using blue cheese, cooked and crumbled bacon and walnuts.