Fresh broccoli is always on hand in my kitchen. Like chicken, beef and potatoes, it is an empty-canvass food that offers many options: Sautéed, steamed, raw, in a stir fry and many more.
Raw broccoli salads are my favorite, but in winter something heartier seems more appropriate. This winter, I've been loving warm broccoli salads with shallots and sautéed croutons. But that's just the underpinnings of this tasty salad: The final product is determined by what is leftover in the fridge.vThe basic salad remains the same.
Here's how to make it:
- 3/4 cup croutons
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
- 2 small shallots, coarsely chopped or sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- dash sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon Penzeys Mural of Flavor Seasoning*
Melt butter in small saucepan with garlic. Toss in croutons, blending so that each one is moistened and seasoned. Add more butter, if necessary. Set aside.
Prepare broccoli and shallots; sauté in olive oil over medium heat until shallots brown and broccoli softens slightly. Drizzle with lemon juice and season.
I've made this salad five times this winter, each time with different additions:
- Bacon, cranberries, roasted walnuts and sunflower seeds
- Chicken, cashews, cheddar cheese
- Tomatoes, chickpeas and black olives
- London Broil (see above) and cippolini onions
- Water chestnuts, toasted almonds and red peppers
* Shallots, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, coriander, lemon peel, citric acid, black pepper, chives, green peppercorns, dill weed, and orange peel.