Broccoli Salad is a staple at summer picnics. It has such great potential to be a healthy option but it often drowning in gloppy dressing. This lightened version allows broccoli to be the star. The dressing maintains that beloved creamy texture with a few playful surprises.
This is embarrassing to admit so please tell me I’m not the only one who does this – I excitedly accept an invitation to a party or potluck a few weeks away, make a note of the upcoming event on my calendar, and then file it away for later. The week of the potluck arrives and I have no dish planned, but, I don’t fret because there are still a few days to think of something. The day of the potluck arrives and I spend the entire day void of good ideas and wishing I had planned my dish in advance.
If you can relate to my method (or lack thereof) I have a suggestion for both of us. Choose a signature dish. Once you have chosen a signature dish you will be less likely to find yourself paying for a bag of chips and a tub of salsa thirty minutes before a party (at least grab one of the refrigerated options!).
Suggestions for choosing a signature dish:
- Start with ingredients you are likely to have on hand at any given time.
- Pick fresh ingredients with year round availability.
- Look for a dish that will be great if made a day in advance or just a few minutes prior to serving.
- Imagine your dish fitting easily with a variety of entrées (grilled meat, fish, casseroles, etc).
- Consider appealing to a wide range of dietary needs and preferences.
- Most importantly – make your signature dish something that you enjoy, that fits your health goals, and could satisfy your hunger if the other food options do not meet the first two criteria.
A few weeks ago I found myself hours from a potluck dinner with no solid plan for what to make. Adding to my stress was the guest list – all the other diners were food blog writers. Ack! I knew the meal would be casual but I wanted to bring something I was proud to share with the talented group.
This salad came together less than an hour before I scrambled out the door. When I showed up to dinner with my bowl of Creamy Broccoli Salad I was very happy with my contribution. It fit right in with the hostess’s main dish and complemented the other appetizers and side dishes. It fits the criteria quite nicely and I may have found my signature dish.
Here are some of the other goodies we enjoyed:
Artichoke and Goat Cheese Phyllo Appetizer – by Shut Up & Cook (cheesy briny goodness in a crisp papery envelope)
Persian Cucumber Bites with Lox & Dill Cream Cheese – by Everyday Maven (crunchy, salty, creamy, and gorgeous!)
- 1½ lbs broccoli chopped into bite size pieces
- ½ cup minced green onion, approximately 3-4 whole onions
- ½ cup raisins, lightly packed
- ¼ cup sunflower seed kernels, toasted without salt
- ½ cup (4 oz) non-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp coarse ground mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp orange zest
- In large salad bowl, toss together the broccoli salad ingredients.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients then fold into the salad until it is fully coated. Finish with additional orange zest.
- Refrigerate the finished salad for 4 hours up to overnight.