I am a fan of certain vegetables, especially the leafy ones, green ones and tomatoes. Not so much of the others, but I love vegetables in general, so it does help if I combine them with my favorite greens. I find broccoli a very versatile vegetable, even though I rarely use it for other than salads. I like that it is both a rugged as well as a filling vegetable, allowing to be used in light meals like salads.
We had pizza and pasta takeaway yesterday night, so a pretty heavy dinner. What we needed was something light and healthy and at the same time something that can get rid of the “toxins”, and more importantly something that will help digest the excess proteins (cheese) that we had yesterday night. So I turned to my trusted herbs – mint and basil.
I made a salad of broccoli and hazelnuts with a pesto dressing; my version.
- 300gm broccoli florets
- 75gm hazelnuts
- 2 medium sized cloves of garlic, crushed
- Half a bunch of fresh basil leaves
- Half a bunch of fresh mint leaves
- Extra light olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
– In a deep dish, boil or steam the broccoli florets for not more than 3-4 min. by this time they would become tender enough for a salad. Strain and run the florets under cold water to stop from cooking
– Wash the picked leaves of basil and mint and add them to a processor. Start processing and add in the light olive oil to make the mixture a little runny. Keep aside
– Toast the hazelnuts on a hot griddle, cool them a bit and crush them with the back of your knife to form rough pieces
– In a mixing bowl, add the steamed/blanched broccoli, the basil-mint mixture, garlic, and toasted and roughly crushed hazelnuts, mix them together by hand or with your salad spoons.
– Season the mixture, add in some extra virgin olive oil, and mix again. Serve warm, with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil if you like