Does this salad combination sound improbable? I seem to remember having some doubts before I made it the first time. But that’s all just a dim memory now — my love for this salad knows no bounds. Mostly it’s a study in contrasts, of both texture and tastes. The crunch of the raw broccoli, the creamy richness of the avocado, the slight bite of red onion, richly toasted almonds, and a vinaigrette kicked up with a generous dollop of whole grain mustard. Plus, it’s clean, healthy, and quick. I could eat this stuff everyday.
This is one of those times that it pays to take a bit of extra care with chopping — the more evenly-sized broccoli pieces you can create, the more homogenous and tasty every bite of this salad becomes.
Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc
I recently wrote-up a bunch of Sauvignon Blancs, but this salad calls for more. Partly because Sauvignon Blanc tames broccoli’s cabbagey qualities, and partly because it’s just that time of year when the assertive, aromatic brightness of Sauvignon Blanc is hard to resist. So here are a couple more I’ve enjoyed lately:
Balverne 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley Forever Wild ($25). An array of aromatic citrus here — tangerine, lemon, lime — mingles with gooseberry, white fig and light grassy notes. Finishes juicy and appealing. Find it!
Rutherford Ranch 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley ($15). Pretty lemon leads the way, picking up juicy melon, lime zest and a dash of gooseberry through the bright finish. Find it!
Recipe: Broccoli & Avocado Salad
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium head broccoli, chopped into small florets
1/4 medium red onion, minced
1 avocado, diced
large handful slivered almonds, toasted
Whisk together mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Season lightly with kosher salt and black pepper.
Toss chopped broccoli and minced red onion in vinaigrette until well- and evenly-coated. Add avocado and gently toss to combine. Top with toasted almonds and serve. Serves 2.
Adapted from Stonesoup.