Broccoli Pasta Salad
Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s so versatile. It can be steamed, served raw, blanched, sautéed, pureed in soups, roasted and grilled. It’s available most of the year, but can be found in season at your local farmers market, from the Fall to the Spring.
Broccoli is loaded with minerals, beta carotene (believed to fight cancer), vitamins A, B, D, potassium and magnesium. Who says vegans aren’t healthy? This is just one of many plant sources for nutrients. Just toss some broccoli in any salad, and you will have a nutritious and satisfying meal.
- 6 ounces pasta spirals (any favorite pasta will do)
- 2 quarts water
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 head broccoli florets (cauliflower will do)
- Water for blanching
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water (should taste like sea water) until tender. Strain and set aside.
- Combine a pinch of sea salt, vinegar, mustard & herbs in a blender and slowly drizzle the oil in as the blender is on and process until the oil emulsifies with the vinegar.
- Pour dressing over warm pasta.
- Blanch broccoli (cook for about 3 minutes in boiling water) Shock and drain.
- Blanch red onion by plunging into boiling water and remove immediately. Shock and drain.
- When pasta and vegetables reach room temperature, toss together and serve.
- The process of blanching is to boil water and immerse vegetable in for anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes then remove and place in a bowl of water and ice to quickly cool and stop the cooking process.
- The reason for this technique is to make the vegetables more vibrant in color and to make it more edible.