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A bowl of chopped salad with cashew dressing.

Charred Broccoli Chopped Salad with Spicy Cashew Dressing


Description

Dressing adapted from this recipe in Bon Appetit. The below recipe will yield a little over 2 cups of dressing. Recipe can be halved, but consider making the full amount as it is so nice having a vat of dressing on hand. It will keep for weeks in the fridge. 

Notes:

Cashews: I have a hard time finding roasted salted cashews, which the original recipe calls for, so I generally use roasted unsalted cashews, but I’ve also had success using a combination of raw and roasted cashews. Salt will need to be adjusted to taste depending on what kind of cashews you are using. 

Oil: Original recipe calls for vegetable oil, so feel free to use a neutral oil if you wish. I don’t find the flavor of olive oil too overpowering here, so I use it. 

Crushed red pepper flakes: 1 teaspoon will not make this overwhelmingly spicy. Use 1.5 teaspoons if you like a kick. 

To make the dressing vegan: Use sugar or maple syrup in place of the honey; omit the fish sauce. You may want to up the vinegar to taste. 

Vegetables: Use the recipe as a guide. Romaine can replace kale; radicchio can replace the endive; carrots can replace the beets; etc. 

Beets: Raw beets are delicious. Don’t shred them too far in advance or they’ll oxidize and turn an unpleasant color. 


Ingredients

Please read notes above before making.

For the dressing: 

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 11.5 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1.5 teaspoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the salad: 

  • 1/4 cup dried currants, such as Zante
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  •  8 oz kale, stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 2 heads endive, quartered, and cut crosswise into 1/2– inch slices
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 yellow beets, unpeeled, grated with the shredder attachment of the food processor, see notes above
  • 1 head broccoli (1216 oz), sliced into florets
  • 2 oz. soppresatta or salami, optional, thinly sliced, I like the Applegate brand
  • grated parmesan or other cheese,
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, to taste

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing: Place the cashews, oil, vinegar, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, honey, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a food processor or blender for 30 – 60 seconds or until mostly blended. Slowly stream in 2/3 cup water. (If making this with the intention of using as a dip, start with 1/2 cup water.) Blend until smooth. Taste. Adjust flavor to taste with more salt or vinegar. Stream in more oil if the dressing is too thin. Dressing should be creamy, smooth, and pourable.
  2. Make the salad: Heat the broiler to high for at least 15 minutes. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Prepare the broccoli: cut the head into spears; then cut larger spears in half or into quarters.
  4. Toss the broccoli on the prepared sheet pan with 1 tablespoon of neutral oil and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Taste a small spear of broccoli raw — it should taste nicely seasoned. Transfer pan to broiler and cook 2 minutes. Check. If the broccoli isn’t beginning to char, return it for another minute. Check again. If the spears are charring, remove the pan from the oven, and flip each spear over; then return pan to the broiler for another 2 minutes. Check again. Remove pan from the oven when the broccoli is charred to your liking, about 5-7 minutes total.
  5. Meanwhile: Place the currants in a small bowl. If you like a nice vinegary bite, cover them with 4 tablespoons vinegar; if you like a more subtle bite, cover them with 2 tablespoons vinegar. Set aside. 
  6. In your largest bowl, place the kale, endive, scallions, and beets.
  7. Add the sliced meat and grated or cubed cheese, if using. Add the reserved currants with their vinegar. Add the broccoli. Season with pepper to taste. 
  8. Pour dressing to taste over top. Toss. Taste. Adjust with more dressing if necessary or season with sea salt and pepper to taste. 

*Note: This dressing thickens up considerably in the fridge overnight. When ready to use it again, scoop some into another bowl and whisk in some water to thin. Taste. Add more salt if necessary. 

 

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Food processor, blender
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cashew, dressing, spicy, dairy-free, chopped, salad, broccoli, salami, kale