Winter Broccoli and Dried Cherry Salad dressed with balsamic dijon

image of winter broccoli and dried cherry salad with balsamic dijon

 

Isn’t it nice to have something bright and green in the gray dark days of winter? 

This salad is such a thing. I even found some $1.49/lb. fresh asparagus to throw in also.  Blanching the broccoli not only gives it a better little “crunch” but also perks up the green color… and the dried cherries bring a little bit of “chew” to the party.  (I love a cherry of any sort).  Pomegranate arils tossed on top give all sorts of winter dishes a bit of festivity too.  If you love them like I do, grab a few and throw in your produce drawer as the season wanes.  They will keep for a few months if nice and fresh when you buy them. 

As you’ve seen around here before, I love to throw together homemade salad dressings too.  You’ve always got things on hand to make those in a couple of minutes.  Have you read and tried to pronounce the ingredients in a bottle of store bought dressing lately? yuk!
Sometimes, when I want something creamy, I just combine a little pickle juice with Duke’s mayo, salt, pepper and a bit o’garlic until dressing consistency.  The simpler dressed the better!

The beauty of this and similar salads is that you can add and omit to suit your fancy.  If you prefer craisins or raisins, use those.  Leave out the asparagus. Tear up some spinach and throw that in the bowl.  Don’t have red onions?  Green onions or any others will do too.  As The Frugal Gourmet once said…

“Omit and substitute! That’s how recipes should be written. Please don’t ever get so hung up on published recipes that you forget that you can omit and substitute.
                                                                                              Jeff Smith (the Frugal Gourmet)

And yes, I call this a “winter” salad, but with exception of the pomegranate, you can find all of these ingredients year round so put this on the table spring, summer and fall too.  Wouldn’t this be nice alongside an Easter ham?  Or with some fresh local shrimp tossed in and chilled on a hot summer’s day?  Or with a leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich?  When you throw this salad together, shoot me a note or post to share what you ate with it!  No matter when or how you “omit and substitute,” this is just a really good basic broccoli salad to have in your repertoire.  Enjoy… 

Be sure to enjoy with this Rotisserie Chicken French Onion Soup I created this to enjoy alongside of… a really nice pairing for brunch, lunch or supper!

 

This recipe created for and published in Carolina Country Magazine January 2023.
Food propping/styling and photography © (copyrighted) by 
Wendy Perry.
Carolina Country Magazine Contributing Recipes Editor

Disclosure:  I only use and recommend products here I use myself. I may receive a small commission from affiliate links on this or other posts on this web site at no additional costs to you.

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Winter Broccoli & Dried Cherry Salad …dressed with Balsamic Dijon

This vibrant fresh salad is a nice side with a pot of soup on a chilly winter’s day. You might want to double up on the tasty dressing… it keeps well refrigerated for several weeks. It’s quick to make but if you have a favorite, you can easily substitute that as well. Serves 6-8
Course: Brunch, Dressings, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: balsamic dijon dressing, broccoli salad, dried cherries, winter salad
Author: Wendy Perry

Ingredients

Dressing: Combine in jar and shake to mix. (Makes about 1 cup)

  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • ¼ cup good balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fruit juice, I used apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic or garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • lots of fresh cracked black pepper

Salad

  • 2-3 large broccoli crowns cut into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 1 small bunch asparagus cut into 2”pieces
  • 1-10 ounce bag angel hair coleslaw cabbage
  • 1-5 ounce package dried cherries
  • 1 medium red onion cut into thin slivers
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced celery
  • arils of 1 pomegranate

Instructions

  • Blanch broccoli and asparagus; cool and dry with paper towels.
  • Combine all salad ingredients except pomegranate in large bowl. Pour in dressing and toss to coat salad.
  • Chill for several hours before serving. Scatter with arils at serving time.

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