Yearn­ing for a creamy salad? Try one with broc­coli, blue cheese

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN

It’s the sea­son of back­yard bar­be­cues, pic­nics and out­door potlucks.

We gather with friends, or sim­ply mi­grate to the back­yard pic­nic ta­ble for fam­ily din­ner, and that has me crav­ing the clas­sics: grilled meats, veg­gies and some creamy starchy sides like mac­a­roni salad.

Creamy Broc­coli and Blue Cheese Salad stretches just a smidgen of silky-and-sat­is­fy­ing may­on­naise with some low-fat Greek yo­gurt, and the re­sult­ing salad is creamy, but not cloy­ing.

Blue cheese brings a so­phis­ti­cated hit of flavour, and there is just enough to add com­plex­ity without be­ing so over­board that kids won’t eat.

Feel free, how­ever, to swap for a milder cheese like crum­bled feta or even shred­ded sharp ched­dar.

The bulk of the salad is bril­liantly healthy raw veg­eta­bles: broc­coli, thinly sliced cab­bage and shred­ded car­rots. Halved grapes add the per­fect touch of sweet­ness that takes the salad al­most to a slaw, and pairs per­fectly with the tangy blue cheese, and red onion.

You can spend 10 min­utes break­ing down your own flo­rets, chop­ping cab­bage and grat­ing car­rots, or spend an ex­tra dol­lar to buy them prepped in the pro­duce aisle.

Ei­ther way, the salad takes min­utes to make, and it holds up well for a cou­ple of days in the fridge. Which means left­overs can be brown-bagged for lunch the next day no prob­lem.

And, you can feel great about hav­ing a plethora of one of the most touted health foods out there: sim­ple raw broc­coli.

Creamy Broc­coli and Blue Cheese Salad MAKES 6 SERV­INGS

Salad: 4 cups small broc­coli flo­rets (raw) ½ small red onion, sliced thinly 1 cup shred­ded car­rots 1 cup shred­ded red cab­bage 1 cup red grapes, sliced in half ¼ cup blue cheese crum­bles Dress­ing: ¼ cup low-fat plain Greek yo­gurt 2 ta­ble­spoon light may­on­naise 2 tbsp red wine vine­gar 1 small gar­lic clove, finely minced or pressed, or 1 tea­spoon gran­u­lated gar­lic ¼ tsp (or less or more) hot sauce ½ tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pep­per

Start to fin­ish: 15 min­utes Place all the salad in­gre­di­ents into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk to­gether the dress­ing in­gre­di­ents and taste for sea­son­ing. Pour the dress­ing onto the salad and toss.

Best if chilled for an hour be­fore serv­ing to al­low flavours to marry.

Per serv­ing: 93 calo­ries (32 from fat); 4 grams fat (2 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 8 mil­ligrams choles­terol; 335 mg sodium; 13 g car­bo­hy­drate; 3 g fi­bre; 7 g sugar; 5 g pro­tein.

MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Feel free to swap out the blue cheese for a milder va­ri­ety like crum­bled feta or even shred­ded sharp ched­dar.

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