Broccoli has a powerful public relations and marketing team. It’s originally from Europe. Cultivated in Italy. Seen in every vegetarian cuisine around the world. It’s the instant vegetable to use when the word, ‘healthy’, is needed. Like an overexposed movie star, it’s a boring ingredient.
Last week, I’m in a grocery store looking for additional vegetables to add to escarole greens. For some odd reason, I decide to give the boring, green floret a try. On the way to the cash register, sausage and shallots were added to the basket. Once at home, the broccoli was cut into smaller pieces and steamed gently to maintain a slight crunch. The sausage was sliced very thin, and fried like bacon. Once the sausage slices were removed from the skillet, shallots were added with a touch of red wine for Warm Mustard Vinaigrette.
What I like about this recipe is a boring; cold, green salad is electrifying with sliced sausages tossed with Warm Mustard Vinaigrette. The mix of hot and cold ingredients makes this a healthy and hearty salad. And, yes… Similar to most recipes and restaurants around the world, I just used that word–healthy—as I’m writing about this broccoli salad recipe. Broccoli’s public relations and marketing team would be proud.
With broccoli being the ‘rock star’ of vegetarian and healthy recipes, what is your favorite unrecognized nutritionally rich vegetable and/or fruit?
- 1 to 2 heads of Escarole; cleaned and roughly chopped
- 1 to 2 heads of broccoli; cut into smaller florets
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper; as needed
- Crushed red pepper; as needed
- 8 to 10 oz. sausage; thinly sliced
- 1 large shallot; thinly sliced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp. mustard
- 1/4-cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil; more as needed
- The juice of one lemon
- Season broccoli with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Steam for at least five minutes. It should be slightly crunchy. Rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking. Toss with the first half the juice of a lemon. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, warm one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and stir frequently until it’s crispy brown—similar to bacon. Place aside on a paper-towel lined plate.
- To make the Warm Mustard Vinaigrette: Add another one tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet. Place shallots in the skillet and cook until translucent. Add red wine, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper to the skillet. Simmer uncovered to reduce wine in half. Place reduced wine and shallots in a medium bowl. Whisk in the salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, mustard, olive oil and the second half of the lemon juice to make the Warm Mustard Vinaigrette.
- In a large bowl, lightly toss the escarole, steamed broccoli, sausage slices and warm Mustard Vinaigrette together.*
*Note: If planning on leftovers or brown bagging for lunch, store the Warm Mustard Vinaigrette separately. Before serving, reheat vinaigrette to slightly above room temperature before mixing with the greens.
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