Broccoli is a vegetable which is readily available all year round. To me it’s a perfect salad ingredient because you can prepare it a million different ways and never be bored. I’ve used it raw and cooked in salads and even chopped it into slaws. But I think I like this roasting method the best.
This simple broccoli salad has only a few ingredients but a TON of flavor. Charred broccoli florets, pan seared sesame mushrooms, quick pickled onions, chopped chili peanuts are drizzled with a LUSCIOUS SPICY PEANUT DRESSING. Perfect any time of the year!
I really love the ease of this salad. All the ingredients are always readily available. Broccoli is a great source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. I like to buy fresh broccoli because I’ll use the whole plant in my cooking. But you can also buy pre cut, packaged broccoli florets. It’ll make this easy weeknight salad even easier to prepare.
The other thing I love about this salad is that I truly enjoy each component on it’s own. I had to use all my strength to not eat the broccoli right out of the oven and the mushrooms right out of the pan. Although several pieces of each totally made it past the taste test!
It’s this dressing though! The luscious spicy, sesame, peanutty flavor really ties all of these great ingredients together. You will want to use this SPICY PEANUT DRESSING on absolutely everything! Make it as mild or spicy as you like. The spicier the better for me!
The first thing I do when preparing this salad is to throw some onions into a quick pickle. I cover them in rice vinegar seasoned with a little honey and some chili flakes. They lend a tangy cool crunch to this savory salad. If you think ahead about this salad, you could also make a batch of PRETTY PICKLED ONIONS. These tangier, fuschia colored onions will bring a great pop of color to your salad as well.
Once the onions are pickling, put your sesame seed sprinkled broccoli in the oven and start sautéing your mushrooms. By the time the mushrooms are beautiful and golden, your broccoli will be perfectly charred.
The SPICY PEANUT DRESSING is also easy to make. Peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, tamari sauce, garlic, ginger and chili flakes go into your blender or mini food processor. A quick whirl and it’s ready to drizzle. And trust me, you will want to start drizzling this luscious stuff on everything!
This salad is perfect warm or cold and I love it exactly as it is. But here are some ways you can MAKE IT YOUR OWN:
- Not a fan of broccoli? Use cauliflower instead. Or carrots. Or a combination of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Why not brussels sprouts?
- Leave the mushrooms out if they’re not your thing. If they are, any mushroom will work in this recipe. I used white mushrooms. Portobellos, shiitakes or wild mushrooms would be great.
- I bought some chili spiced peanuts at The Fresh Market. If you have a favorite seasoned peanut, use it in this salad. Plain nuts, walnuts, almonds or cashews would work quite well.
- I used pickled onions for the pop of tangy flavor and a fresh crunchy element in this salad. But you can also roast some onions with the broccoli or saute them with the mushrooms if you prefer.
- While broccoli is available all year round, you can make this salad seasonal. Add some asparagus in the spring. Or roasted corn in the summer. Sweet potatoes or butternut squash would be awesome in the fall and winter.
- And I’ll tell you friends, I would NOT swap out this delicious peanut dressing for anything here. But I can also see where a sesame soy type of vinaigrette would taste pretty good, too.
- FOR THE BROCCOLI:
- 6 cups of broccoli florets
- 3 Tablespoons of peanut oil
- ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds
- pinch of salt & red pepper
- FOR THE MUSHROOMS:
- 1 pound of sliced white mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons of peanut oil
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
- FOR THE ONIONS:
- ½ Vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon of honey
- Rice wine vinegar to cover the onions
- Pinch of chili flakes if desired
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- See recipe or follow the links for SPICY PEANUT DRESSING on this site.
- ½ cup of chopped peanuts
- Place the chopped onions in a bowl or mason jar.
- Pour in enough rice vinegar to cover the onions.
- Add the tablespoon of honey and pinch of chili flakes if desired.
- Stir and let sit while you make the rest of the salad.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Toss the broccoli with 3 Tablespoons of peanut oil.
- Place on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds, pinch of salt and pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing once until broccoli starts to brown and char in spots.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of peanut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Once the mushrooms take on a browned and golden color to your liking, stir in a clove of minced garlic and a teaspoon or two of sesame oil and cook a few minutes longer.
- Prepare a batch of Spicy Peanut Dressing according to the recipe on this site.
- TO ASSEMBLE:
- Toss the broccoli and mushrooms with ¼ cup of drained pickled onions and ½ cup of chopped peanuts.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- I like to serve this with the dressing on the side so everyone can drizzle their salad with their desired amount of dressing.
- NOTE: I like this salad warm out of the oven. But I've also eaten it chilled. The leftovers reheat well and are also delicious served on top of your favorite rice!
All of my salads and dressings are just a starting place for your imagination. So feel free to add or swap ingredients and do what works for you!