Autumn is apple picking time in the mountains of North Carolina. Every Farmers' Market and roadside stand is brightened with the colors of red and green apples. I am always looking for ways to incorporate apples into our meals. This healthy salad is a riff on a salad that I first saw from Mollie Katzen, the well known authority on vegetarian cooking. I added walnuts to the mix and changed the dressing to include one of my favorite sweeteners, maple syrup. My addition of grainy mustard also adds a zing to the salad. If you are used to the mayonnaise, bacon and raisin version of broccoli salad, I think you will be surprised and delighted with this healthier alternative. —lakelurelady
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut broccoli florets from the broccoli stems. Discard stems or save to use in a vegetable stock. When water reaches a boil, add the broccoli florets and boil for approximately 1 minute or until broccoli becomes a vibrant green. Remove broccoli to a large bowl of ice water to set the color and stop the cooking. Add the red onion slices to the boiling water for just a few seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the ice water with the broccoli.
In a small dry skillet toast the walnut pieces over medium heat until lightly browned
In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, garlic, salt, and maple syrup. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until it is emulsified.
Drain the broccoli and onions. Pat dry. Add them to the bowl with the dressing along with the walnuts and sliced apple. Toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed. Can be served cold or at warm temperature.
I have been a serious cook from the time I first took an introductory course in French Cooking from Irena Chalmers, a cookbook author and instructor at the CIA. My first love is French cooking but I also value the importance of fresh local ingredients. The freshest ingredients seasoned right and prepared with love will result in the perfect meal.