Broccoli salad with creamy dressing

Broccoli salad with creamy dressing

broccoli salad dressed

At last we are having warm weather over here so light meals like salads are course du jour. Today’s recipe is a simple broccoli salad with a creamy dressing and almond bacon I published last week. It’s easy to make and a delicious way to eat broccoli. I used tenderstem broccoli (known as broccolini in some parts of the world) for my salad as they are currently in season over here but regular broccoli would work too.

I cut broccoli stems into same segments and boil them until just tender – about 90 seconds – then add the tops and boil for 30 more seconds as they cook in no time at all. I like the texture to be barely cooked so only a couple of minutes is enough. As soon as your broccoli is cooked, you want to drain them and plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water to stop them from losing their beautiful, vibrant colour.

While the broccoli is cooking, I whisk up a quick mayo based dressing. I sprinkle the salad with almond bacon as it’s pairs really well with raw broccoli and the dressing, but it does need 30 minutes in the oven so if that’s too much of a commitment, read on – I have another option for you.

So that is it, it really isn’t a very involved recipe but a nice new way to enjoy broccoli. I am already a staunch supporter of brassica family, but if you are not a fan who knows, this salad may just convert you. I hope it does.


broccoli salad tenderstem broccoli

BROCCOLI: I used tenderstem broccoli / broccolini to make this salad as they are currently in season in the UK. They are delicious and, like the name suggests, beautifully tender. You want to cut the stems up into small, bite-size segments of roughly the same size. If one stem is thick, cut it into narrower slices so that it cooks as quickly as the thinner stems. You can also use regular broccoli, just make sure you cut it into same size pieces and adjust cooking time accordingly – start testing after 2 minutes and drain them as soon as you are happy with the texture.

VEGAN MAYO: Vegan mayo is what gives the dressing its bulk and creamy texture. I used Hellmann’s vegan mayo as that’s one that is available in most supermarkets in the UK these days but feel free to pick another brand you enjoy or even make your own.

NUTRITIONAL YEAST: A couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast – staple vegan cheese-like seasoning – gives this simple dressing more depth of flavour and thickens it slightly.

MISO PASTE: I also added a touch of white miso paste instead of salt as it does not only bring saltiness but also more depth of flavour to the dressing. If you don’t have it use a touch of soy sauce instead. If making this dressing for someone who absolutely cannot have any gluten, be sure to buy a miso paste that is gluten-free, which typically means it’s based on rice or chickpeas rather than on wheat. You should be able to find it in a well-stocked health food store.

MUSTARD: A small amount of background heat is nice so I added a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, you can add more or less depending on your preference.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Every good dressing needs a touch of acid and this one is no exception. As mayo does already have a bit of an acidity, I added just a touch of apple cider vinegar for a more pronounced acidic note. If you wish, you could use lemon juice too, but I find it a little less potent than vinegar so you may want to use a bit more.

MAPLE SYRUP: A touch of sweetness is needed to balance acidity out. I like to use maple syrup as that’s something that’s always in my fridge but you can use other liquid sweetener or sugar.

GARLIC POWDER: A dash of garlic powder is nice in this creamy and cheesy dressing, but you can skip if you are not a fan. Alternatively you could grate half a clove of garlic (or a whole one if you are after a stronger garlic flavour). I recommend steeping grated garlic in the acid that you will use in this dressing for 10 minutes first as this will take the bite off and make the flavour more mellow.

SMOKED PAPRIKA: I love smoky flavour so I added a dash of smoked paprika to the dressing. If you are making quick pan-toasted almonds instead of making more involved almond bacon, I recommend seasoning them with a dusting of smoked paprika too.

ALMONDS: I love this salad with almond bacon (I published a stand alone recipe for it last week). It does require 30 minutes in the oven though so if that sounds like too much, there is a simpler idea below that you may want to do instead. For that you need whole, skin-on, almonds and a touch of olive oil.

broccoli salad prep

Separate the stems from the tops as their cooking time is vastly different. Cut the stems into small segments on the diagonal. If some stems are particularly thick, make them a bit thinner to ensure similar cooking time. Tops can go on whole as they cook quickly.

broccoli salad almond bacon

If making almond bacon, toss halved or flaked almonds in a simple marinade and bake to perfection. Alternatively, toast plain almonds on a hot frying pan until fragrant and lightly charred. Toss in a small amount of oil and season with smoked paprika and salt.

broccoli salad creamy dressing making

The dressing simply needs whisking all of the ingredients in a bowl. Taste it and adjust it to your taste.

broccoli salad broccoli iced water

Once broccoli is ready – make sure you test a piece to ensure you are happy with the cooking time before you add the tops to the cooking stems – drain them and plunge into ice-cold water to preserve beautiful colour.

broccoli salad dressing

broccoli salad platter

4-6 as a side
15 min
3 min
4-6 as a side
15 min
3 min
  • 300 g / 10.5 oz tenderstem broccoli* (broccolini)
  • 80 g / 6 tbsp vegan mayo
  • 14 g / 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 20 ml / 1½ tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (or agave syrup)
  • 2 tsp white miso (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp smoked paprika, divided
  • 35 g almonds (or ¼ portion almond bacon)
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp olive oil (optional)
  1. Cut florets (and leaves) off the stems. Slice the stems into 1 cm / 0.4 inch pieces on the diagonal. If some of the stems are particularly thick, cut them a little narrower.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, get a colander and a bowl with cold water and a few ice-cubes ready.
  3. Add the stems to the boiling water and cook for 90 seconds (test a piece to see if it’s nearly done) before adding in the tops and continuing for 30 seconds. Drain and immediately plunge into the bowl with ice cold water. Allow to sit for 1 minute.
  4. Drain, transfer to the colander and leave it in the sink to drain well. Make the dressing, it makes just under 2/3 cup (150 ml).
  5. Combine vegan mayo, mustard, nutritional yeast, miso, acid, maple syrup, garlic powder and ½ tsp smoked paprika in a small bowl. Mix with a wire whisk until smooth.
  6. If not making almond bacon, heat up a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the almonds and allow them to toast on medium-low heat until fragrant and lightly charred in places. Add 1 tsp olive oil and toss the almonds in it, season with a good sprinkle of salt and dust with ¼ tsp of smoked paprika. Cool and chop roughly.

*TENDERSTEM BROCCOLI: I used tenderstem broccoli (known also as broccolini) in this recipe but you could also use regular broccoli chopped into bite-size pieces. If you do, cooking time is likely to be a little longer as they are not as tender. Keep on testing until you are happy.

3 g
13 g
1 g
5 g
8 g
*per 1 out of 4 servings
How would you rate this recipe?
This is a test string

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

1 review, 3 comments
Tricia feely:
Excellent and nutritious meal
    Thank you, Tricia. I am glad you enjoyed it :) Ania
How far in advance should I make this? With or without dressing?
    You could make the dressing and the almonds a couple of days ahead for sure, as for the broccoli I personally would not cook them more than a few hours in advance. I hope this helps. Ania
Join our mailing list and we we will let you know when we publish a new recipe. You'll receive our DELIGHTFUL DESSERTS E-BOOK as a thank you for supporting us.