There is a famous recipe for Broccoli and Feta Salad in the Avoca Cafe Cookbook by Hugo Arnold. I have made it several times and it is really good, but as per usual I cannot leave well enough alone and have to add other bits and bobs to it.
These little extras don’t make the salad any more difficult to make, but means that I can enjoy the salad as a meal in itself rather than as a side dish. This is perfect for when you want something quick and tasty that edges towards healthy. And I mean ‘edges’, it’s got bacon and cheese, I’m not fooling myself here!
Useful tips & links:
- I’ve used tenderstem broccoli for this recipe but regular broccoli will work fine. I leave it raw as I like the texture but if you don’t fancy it, steam or blanch the broccoli for a couple of minutes in boiling water and then put it into cold water so that it stops cooking and keeps the vibrant green colour.
- You can omit the bacon to keep it meat free but if you do, add another tbsp of olive oil to the dressing. If it needs to be vegetarian, also leave out the parmesan and make sure the feta you are using is suitable.
- I use fresh tomatoes here as they are delicious in the summer. However, I am a little weird about tomatoes sitting around in a salad before eating so if I am making it in advance or in Winter, I would use sundried or slow roasted tomatoes. Yes, they may be considered a little bit naff but they add a great flavour.
- I used candied walnuts as in this Grilled Peach Cherry and Goats’ Cheese Salad but use regular toasted nuts if you like. The Avoca recipe uses hazelnuts.
- Try something new with broccoli with this Drowned Broccoli side dish from Manuela of Skitikkio.
Broccoli and Feta Salad
Serves 2 as a light meal, more as a side or in a salad buffet
- 50g of smoked bacon or pancetta pieces
- 200g of broccoli
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- 50g of feta cheese
- 1 tomato
- 1 roasted red pepper
- Some toasted or candied walnuts or hazelnuts
- Fresh grated parmesan
- Start by cooking the bacon or pancetta. Cut it into small pieces and heat a small non stick pan over a medium high heat. Cook until the bacon becomes slightly crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper. Leave the fat from the bacon in the pan.
- Chop your raw or lightly cooked broccoli, including the stalks, into bite sized pieces and put them in a bowl. Chop the tomato and roasted pepper and add to the broccoli. Add the crispy bacon.
- Make the dressing in the pan with the bacon fat. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard to the pan and whisk it all together. Taste the dressing and add some lemon juice and pepper to taste. I do not add salt as the bacon, feta and parmesan have plenty of salt in them.
- Pour the dressing over the broccoli and toss all of the ingredients together to coat everything in the dressing.
- Crumble over the feta and grate a light sprinkling of parmesan. Have a little taste to see if it needs any more seasoning.
- Top with the nuts and serve immediately.