The Snappy, Non-Lettuce Trick to Make Your Salads More Interesting

August 19, 2016

If you’re still throwing away your broccoli stalks you are either a) asleep, b) not a fan of them, or c) new to the consumption of food media.

If B: Give them to your neighbor. Or me! I will take them! They are the best part! If C: Welcome! We’re happy you’re here. I can’t help those of you in group A.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

I started emailing my friend Chadwick Boyd about this salad in May of 2015. (It's featured in his recipe collection, Entertaining with Vegetables, and he fed it to a crowd of hungry demo-watchers that May.)

Also since 2015, I’ve been shaving the raw stalks of broccoli into all of my salads: The sweet, pale-green curls are a welcome respite from all that lettuce (so many just get in the way, anyway) and a sturdy, willing spoon for all of the good stuff. See: golden raisins, salty almonds, soft feta.

You should absolutely make this salad the way Chadwick intends it to be: Understand how everything plays together by making it as written, but then bust it open. Add a different nut, a funky cheese. Try a sharp vinaigrette, or a creamy one. Cook half the thing, as I’ve done—I like to keep the stalks raw, but blister and char the florets over very high heat. Serve it on top of a bed of hummus. Or yogurt. Chadwick sometimes serves it on a cake plate, because he’s a crazy animal. This salad will play along through anything.

1 Comment

Merrill S. August 19, 2016
Chadwick, you crazy animal.