Summer Broccoli Salad

Tonight is pizza night! I always like a good salad to compliment the cheesy “za”. Salad on the side helps to not overindulge in those slices! As usual, I wasn’t feeling anything too basic. With what I had in the pantry and fridge this is what resulted!

Broccoli Chickpea Salad

4 cups broccoli florets
1 medium sweet Vidalia onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 TB
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Blanche the broccoli and set aside. In a large saucepan heat two tablespoons of olive oil adding the sweet onion and cooking until translucent. Stir in garlic and pine nuts. Toss in the cooked broccoli, lemon juice, chickpeas and diced pepper. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Pour over the salad and chill.

I decided to add one chopped romaine heart to the chilled salad before serving.

The above vinaigrette is my go-to for all cold summer bean salads!
Red wine vinegar works great in the dressing as well.

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Broccoli, White Bean & Portobello Side

The group was able to reconvene again for another Family Dinner! Of all dinners this is one where the compliments were supreme. Maybe everyone was hungry? Or, maybe I am really that wonderful a cook?

In addition to a basic tossed salad and pork tenderloin, I decided to come up with some kind of a side. Not wanting to commit to one entirely of starch, I decided that some white cannelleni beans (also known as “great northern beans”) would help to pump up the volume in vegetables. Definitely received some oohs and aahs over this one!

Broccoli, White Bean & Portobello Side

1 Large Vidalia onion
3 Cups broccoli florets
2 Cups mini bella mushrooms
1 Can drained & rinsed cannelleni beans

3 TB olive oil
1 TB red pepper flakes
1/4 Cup basil pesto
Salt & pepper to taste

Slice onion into thin rounds. Cover with olive oil and seasonings placing into a saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions until softened and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow the onions to caramelize over low heat for about 20-30 minutes.

In a separate pan, bring water to a boil to blanch the broccoli. After the broccoli is just barely fork tender, drain and cool in an ice water bath.

Once onions have reached a golden brown color, toss in mushrooms, broccoli, beans and basil pesto. Serve immediately. Voila!

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