By all accounts, Meghan has been a broccoli fanatic since birth. Because of this, we’re always hunting for novel ways to dress up our broc. Years ago, we stumbled across a broccoli and bacon salad, and spent a summer devouring it weekly. Our diet evolved and the dish was forgotten, until last week when I remembered how much we had once loved it. I’ve gotten pretty good at coconut bacon (if I do say so), and rebuilt the recipe from memory using plant-based ingredients. It’s packed with flavor, as well as protein, vitamins C, A and K, and folates. Did I mention it tastes awesome too?
3 heads broccoli (3 C.), largely chopped and blanched
1 C. coconut bacon (recipe here)
⅓ C. pine nuts, lightly toasted
⅓ C. dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1 large shallot (½ C.), fine chopped
½ C. Vegenaise
1 T. cider vinegar
1 t. white vinegar
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep time: 60-80 min. (including bacon prep)
Yield: 8-10 servings
-Follow the recipe for the coconut bacon. I have begun using store-bought coconut shreds recently (in contrast to my original post), which saves a lot of prep time.
-Bring a medium stockpot with 2” cold water to a boil on the stove.
-Partially fill a large bowl with cold water and ice and set aside, leaving space for your cooked broccoli.
-Toast the pine nuts in the oven (~325 F) until they are fragrant and beginning to turn golden, ~10 min.
-Prep the florets, chopping into larger bite-sized pieces.
-Blanch the florets in the boiling water for 3-5 min. or until slightly softened. Strain and immediately place in the ice water.
-Strain the florets out of the ice bath once cooled.
-Remove pine nuts from the oven and transfer to a cool bowl and put in the fridge to cool.
-Chop the shallot and cherries, combine with the Vegenaise, vinegars, basil and oregano in large bowl.
-Add the broccoli, coconut bacon, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Toss lightly.
It’s ready to eat at this point, but you can assemble most of it (minus the coconut bacon and pine nuts) and keep in a covered bowl or container in the fridge up to a day in advance. Add the bacon and pine nuts, toss to cover evenly and serve.