This is my interpretation of the classic broccoli salad – but there’s no mayonnaise in this version! Not that I have anything against mayo, (I love homemade mayo) but I’ve never cared for it as a salad dressing. However, I do like things creamy as a general rule, so I used avocado to make this deliciously creamy dressing.
I’ve been looking for a new way to eat broccoli, (I’m afraid I’ve been in a boring habit, eating plain steamed broccoli) and so this salad came about. With summer temperatures approaching, (we hope…) I’m craving salads of all kinds. The creamy dressing for this salad is so simple and delicious that it makes a great partner for other salads as well.
To begin, peel the stem of the broccoli heads. Break up the broccoli into 3-4 inch pieces and place them in the food processor, or roughly chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces.
Budget Tip: When grapes are really expensive, try using diced up apples instead. They don’t keep as well as grapes, so be sure to add them right before serving.
Fit the food processor with the grater attachment and grate the carrots or you can use a box grater. I love using a food processor for this salad because it makes really quick work of the veggies. Quarter or halve your grapes into bite sized pieces, and add them to the salad mix. You can toast the pumpkin seeds in a pan over medium heat on the stove top, or place them in the oven at 300ºF for around 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Note: to keep this salad 100% raw, leave the pumpkin seeds un-toasted.
Tip: keep back a little of the grapes and pumpkin seeds to scatter over the salad after you toss it with the dressing for a pretty garnish.
For the dressing, give the food processor bowl a quick rinse and place it back on the base fitted with the chopping blade for the dressing. Then place all the ingredients for the dressing into the food processor and process until mostly smooth.
Toss the salad and dressing together until thoroughly combined. Scatter your reserved grapes and pumpkin seeds over the top and serve to appreciating guests. On that note, I was curious to see how this salad would do with the ‘husband test’! I delivered a big bowlful, and when I came back a bit later he requested another bowl – definite success!
I find broccoli can be an overwhelming flavor at times, but not in this case. The carrots add body while the toasty pumpkin seeds add dimension. It’s all brought together with a creamy yet zesty dressing and the sweet crunchy grapes. The flavors are bright and refreshing, yet comfortingly creamy at the same time.
Note: This post was published a few years back, but it’s been so popular I gave it an update with new photos and tips!
- 1 pound broccoli (2 small heads)
- ½ pound carrots, peeled
- 1 pound red grapes, quartered
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 2 avocados
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 Teaspoons sea salt
- Peel the stems of the broccoli and break into small pieces. Place in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade and pulse until small pieces remain. Set aside in a big bowl.
- Fit the food processor with the grater attachment and grate the carrots. Set aside with the broccoli. Add the grapes and toasted pumpkin seeds and toss together.
- Rinse the bowl and place it back on the base with the chopping blade for the dressing. Peel the avocados and remove the pit. Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until mostly smooth. Toss dressing with the salad and serve. Salad can be refrigerated for a few hours.
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