Sunday, July 6, 2014

Spring Broccoli Salad with Radishes and Lime

Colander of broccolini, peas, asparagus, and peas
Drain Veggies before Dressing

Recipe adapted from

My husband and I will be traveling in England soon, so we hosted a Brit Night to hear stories and look at books and photos provided by our Anglophile friends. Of course, the menu needed to match the theme. My first attempt at Beef Wellington was a given, but being Californian at heart, I wanted to add a salad. “Traditional British salad” sounded like an oxymoron until I discovered This UK-based radish appreciation website contains scores of recipes for unusual salads as well as sandwiches, slaws, and snacks. Radishes are England’s first spring crop, and the harvest continues into mid-autumn. This salad pairs radishes with the early season harvests of purple sprouting broccoli, asparagus, and spring peas. Though we’re just past spring, I pushed the season by substituting frozen peas, with tasty results.

Broccolini, Radishes, Asparagus, and Peas
Fresh Spring Goodies
Purple sprout broccoli, alas, must be a British thing, so I substituted broccolini, a slender-stalked, non-heading relative of broccoli. It’s also a bit more strongly flavored than regular broccoli. Chinese broccoli is a similar substitution. LoveRadish says that any broccoli with tender stems will work.

The dressing is a simple combination of lime, soy sauce, and oil. As usual, I’ve reduced the oil by half, filling in the difference with water. The original recipe calls for 100 grams (about .4 cups) sesame seeds, which I eliminated since we were going British rather than Asian. I thought of tossing in some sunflower seeds, but the salad was perfectly crunchy, balanced, and flavorful without. Go ahead and add the seeds (either or both kinds) if your creativity calls out for it. Chip Chip Cherio!

Salad set out with glassware and silverware
Image Courtesy of
Spring Broccoli Salad with Radishes and Lime
serves 10 – 12

1½ lbs. broccolini
1½ lbs. asparagus
¾ lb. radishes (2 lg. bunches)
1 lb. frozen peas (or substitute fresh)
1/3 cup lime juice (2 – 3 limes)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. lime zest
2 tbsp. sunflower oil
sea salt, black pepper

Cut broccolini into 1 – 1½ inch pieces. Steam about 5 minutes, until tender but still green. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly.

Snap woody ends off asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces diagonally. Steam for 3 – 4 minutes, until slightly tender but still bright green. Plunge into ice water to cool, then drain thoroughly.

Microwave frozen peas according to package directions, but steam only until just tender. If using fresh peas, steam about 4 minutes, until just tender. Plunge into ice water to cool, then drain thoroughly.

Slice radishes thinly, up to ¼ inch. Milder radishes can be sliced more thickly.

Arrange thoroughly drained broccolini, asparagus, and peas with radishes in large salad bowl. Toss to combine. Chill salad until serving time.

When ready to serve, prepare dressing in immersion blender cup: Add lime juice and soy sauce to blender cup. Stir honey into water and add to blender cup. Add sunflower oil. Buzz until blended. Stir in lime zest and sea salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad, toss, and serve immediately.

Large Bunch of French Breakfast Radishes
French Breakfast Radishes: a Mild Radish Alternative
Two Limes, one Being Zested
Microplaner Makes Best Zest

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