Why serve your hungry family a boring green salad when you can surprise them with a tongue-tantalizing Southwestern-style broccoli salad inspired by Jessica Gavin? This healthy, hearty salad is a tasty way to get your kids to eat more vegetables and actually enjoy them.
Featuring crisp broccoli florets that are blanched just until their raw edge softens, this salad is composed of bacon, golden raisins, pine nuts, red onion, crumbled goat cheese, and a creamy, spicy Southwestern yogurt-based dressing. The mouthwatering medley of spicy flavors will make your everyday meals more exciting, and if you serve it at holiday dinners, your family and friends will reach for it before anything else on the table.
Homemade salad dressing is the best! Instead of settling for that bottle of store-bought dressing, make your own with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Nonfat Greek yogurt is thick, rich, packed with protein, and a perfect base for a creamy dressing. To make the dressing, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, honey, water, Dijon mustard, ancho chili powder, salt, and pepper. The ancho chili powder gives this dressing a bold Southwestern flavor. The additional ingredients deliciously balance the sweet, smoky, spicy heat of the chili powder.
Once your broccoli florets are blanched and chilled in an ice water bath, this salad comes together in minutes. Simply combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with half of your homemade dressing. Serve your Southwestern style broccoli salad with additional dressing on the side.
Make the Southwestern-style salad dressing
Ancho chili powder gives this yogurt-based dressing a Southwestern punch of flavor. The sweetness of the honey deliciously balances out the chili powder heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, honey, water, Dijon mustard, ancho chili powder, black pepper, and salt. Set aside.
Blanch the broccoli florets
Blanching is a quick way to take the raw edge off the broccoli but keep it crisp. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 8 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 1 minute, which will make the broccoli crisp-tender.
Place broccoli florets in ice water bath
Have a large bowl, with 4 cups of water and 4 cups of ice near the stovetop where you’ll be blanching the broccoli. Use a slotted spoon to immediately transfer the broccoli to the ice water bath to halt the cooking process. Allow the broccoli florets to cool for 5 to 7 minutes, then drain them well. Place the broccoli in a large bowl.
Add the remaining salad ingredients and dressing to the broccoli
Time to assemble your salad. Add the bacon, golden raisins, pine nuts, red onion, and goat cheese to the broccoli. Drizzle half the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Taste and season with more salt, if needed.
Serve the salad with additional dressing on the side
Sweet and salty, this salad is absolutely delectable!
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 1 teaspoon and 1/2 teaspoon
4 cups ice cubes
1 pound broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 slices crispy bacon, cooked, chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins, roughly chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup red onion, 1/4-inch diced
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, honey, 1 tablespoon of water, Dijon mustard, ancho chile powder, black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside until the salad is complete.
Salad: Make an ice water bath by pouring 4 cups cold water into a large bowl. Add the ice and set aside.
In a large saucepan over high heat, combine 8 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring the water to a boil.
Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute.
Using a slotted spoon, quickly remove the broccoli florets and place them in the ice water bath to halt the cooking. Allow the broccoli to cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the broccoli florets and transfer them to a large bowl.
To the broccoli, add bacon, raisins, pine nuts, red onion, and goat cheese.
Drizzle one-half of the salad dressing over the broccoli mixture and toss well to combine. Season to taste with salt.
Serve the salad with additional dressing on the side.