Paleo Broccoli Salad
Why This Recipe Works
Most recipes for broccoli salad rely on a mayonnaise-based dressing that overwhelms the flavor of the broccoli. For our paleo version, we decided to skip the mayo entirely and instead find a simple substitute that would allow the broccoli to shine. We landed on creamy, mild-flavored avocado as the base for our dressing, and punched up its flavor with fresh orange zest and juice, tangy vinegar, and aromatic garlic. A little extra-virgin olive oil ensured that the dressing came out smooth. While most recipes leave the broccoli raw, we found that blanching it briefly in boiling water improved both flavor and appearance. We added the hardier stems to the cooking water before the florets so both were tender at the same time. Drying the broccoli in a salad spinner got rid of excess moisture so our dressing didn’t get watered down. Toasted pecans brought pleasant crunchiness while rehydrated dried cherries added sweet-tart pops to the salad.