This Mediterranean-inspired broccoli salad is bursting with flavour, texture, and colour! Broccoli is steamed until just tender and combined with roasted bell peppers and almonds, salty goat feta, sweet currants, and chickpeas! Then, everything is tossed in a tangy lemon-Dijon vinaigrette. This dish is great as a side or as a main dish when paired with a roasted sweet potato or quinoa.
Hey, friends! I’m baaaaack with a summery Mediterranean vegetable salad that covers all of the nutritional bases, and is super delicious to boot. I apologize for the prolonged absence, but hopefully now that I can feel the season turning ever so slightly, I will get back onto a more regular posting schedule. Thanks for your patience as I figure out this whole blogging routine. 😉
I’ll confess that I haven’t really been enthused about cooking this summer- a bit worrisome for somebody whose passion is food, but normal, I suppose, in the context of the extreme heat and ecosystem devastation that the planet is experiencing. It’s enough for even the most diehard foodie to lose their appetite. From raging wildfires in California to a grieving killer whale mother carrying her dead calf through the ocean off the coast of British Columbia for what is going on weeks, it’s hard to be an aware human being at this point in time. At the risk of sounding overly political, I am going to come right out and say that I am keenly aware of the reality of global warming/climate change, and the trends are incredibly worrisome. My response to stressors of any kind has always been to turn inward, and while I feel guilty at times for not being a more vocal activist, it has never been my style. I have always felt more comfortable with leading by example. I have deep respect for anyone who is a vocal activist, don’t get me wrong. But it has never been my style and I wouldn’t be my authentic self if I pretended that it was. So I return to my kitchen, again and again, because it has always been my happy place and, increasingly, because it is through my food choices that I feel I am able to vote for a more just and sustainable future.
Now, I am not saying that salad will save the world. What I am suggesting is that the more of us who prepare meals in our own kitchens, using locally and sustainably-sourced ingredients, the better off our world will be. And at a time when more and more of us feel powerless in the face of rising seas, droughts, wildfires, and unprecedented pollution levels, being connected to our food is a pretty necessary thing indeed.
Hopefully I don’t come off as preachy; that is never my intention. I just can’t pretend that everything is just fine when the world is a mess. Sure, it’s fun to scroll through Instagram and admire all the pretty food photos, but there are so many important and pressing issues that we all need to be devoting time and energy to. Hopefully I can use this platform as a force for good by providing ideas for how to restore our connection to the earth, starting with the food that we purchase and eat. And that brings me to this salad. I put seasonal, farmers’ market-fresh ingredients to good use here, with broccoli, roasted bell peppers, and red onion playing starring roles. I added some local goat feta for a salty contrast, but feel free to omit it if you are vegan or dairy-free. Roasted almonds or seeds provide some toothsome crunch, while dried fruit adds sweetness. The tangy lemon-Dijon dressing is light and coats the ingredients nicely without overpowering them. Overall, this salad is filling and hearty while remaining light enough to eat in the heat of summer. I enjoy serving it with a baked sweet potato to complete the meal!
Thanks for sticking with me through this post, and I hope that you enjoy this salad as much as I do! If you make it, let me know! Leave a comment below, and tag me @upbeet.kitchen and #upbeetkitchen on Instagram if you share a photo of your salad.
Mediterranean Broccoli and Chickpea Salad with Roasted Peppers and Feta
Time: 30 minutes
Cuisine: Plant-based, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan
- 5 cups broccoli florets
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 cup roasted red or orange pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ cup roasted almonds (I roasted organic raw almonds at 325 F for 10 minutes)
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- ½ cup dried currants
- ½ cup finely diced goat or sheep feta cheese (optional, omit for vegan option)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon chickpea miso or mellow white miso (if you are unable to find this miso, substitute 1 tablespoon tamari or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Steam the broccoli until tender-crisp, about five minutes. Remove from heat and empty into a large bowl.
- Add remaining salad ingredients to the bowl with the broccoli.
- Make the dressing by adding all ingredients into a medium Mason jar. Screw on lid and shake to combine.
- Pour the dressing on top of the salad and toss until incorporated.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. This salad will keep in the fridge for a few days, although the broccoli will begin to lose its bright green hue!