It’s January…the month where food resolutions are made and quickly broken. It’s easy to eat lots of fresh veggies and salads in the summer months, but if you live in the Northern Hemisphere by now you may be having difficulty eating your green stuff. This colorful salad is loaded with superfoods and if you’re following an eating plan that advocates using minimal oil, you’ll find you won’t miss it with the fabulous oil free dressing. Let’s break out of the lettuce rut and stay on track with oil free broccoli citrus salad.
The inspiration for the salad comes from a pin I ran across from Betty Crocker and a modification of an oil free dressing from Anna at Stuffed Veggies. It’s so colorful…the green from the broccoli, orange from the citrus, red from pomegranate and onions and little flecks from the seeds. I even used some of my precious pecans for this. Definitely the cure for the lame Winter salad!
As with the Black Pepper Cauliflower salad, the broccoli was broken down into small florets and blanched for a couple minutes to make the veggie a little easier to chew. The rest of the ingredients can be assembled while waiting for the water to boil.
To make the oil free dressing you’ll need tapioca starch. It gives a slipperiness to sauces that is similar to oil. You should be able to find it in a well stocked grocery store but if it proves elusive, try an Asian specialty store. Make sure to buy the powdered tapioca and not the pearls.
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup vinegar (I used white balsamic)
- 1 heaping teaspoon seeds (I used a blend of seeds including chia, poppy and flax)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 head of broccoli cut into small florets. You can trim and chop the stem, too if you like.
- 1 medium orange, peeled and cut crosswise then broken into little pieces
- 1 generous handful pomegranate seeds
- ½ medium red onion thinly sliced into petals
- 1 handful pecan halves or other nuts
- Bring the water and tapioca starch to a boil over medium high heat. Stir constantly to dissolve the tapioca.
- Allow to cool then pour it into a jar that will hold about 2 cups.
- Add the orange juice, vinegar, seeds, salt and pepper. Shake to combine.
- Add more orange juice or vinegar as desired to modify the acidity.
- Set aside.
- Blanch the broccoli pieces in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes, or until crisp tender.
- Drain and run cold water over the broccoli to stop the cooking and cool it down. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining salad ingredients and salad dressing and toss well to combine.
- Serve as a main dish salad or on the side. Leftovers keep well for a couple days.
We loved this salad served as the main dish with a simple rice on the side. No lettuce in sight!