This Grilled Broccoli Salad will take center stage at your next gathering. The savory mix boosts an already delicious flavor with shredded, smoked Gouda cheese, an unexpected and welcome ingredient. A must try.
I have been grilling broccoli for ages now. Ever tried it? It adds a nice smokiness and layers of flavor you did not think were possible with broccoli. Tossing the broccoli with a little bit of olive oil and throwing it on the grill is all it takes (I do prefer to blanche the broccoli first).
Anyway, I have been thinking about this salad all summer. I knew I wanted grilled broccoli incorporated into a salad (check). A big salad, like one you take to a potluck. However, I was stumped when it came to what type of dressing I wanted to incorporate. Should it be sweet or savory? Heck, I was even clueless what type of other ingredients I wanted to include. I kept mulling it over in my head for what seemed like months.
The dressing ingredients finally hit me as I was standing over my garden of overgrown herbs. I wanted a ranchy-Caesar type of base, with fresh parsley, chives and tarragon playing center stage. Anchovy paste would come in to finish it up and tie up all the loose ends. I ended up using broccoli slaw, shredded carrots and cauliflower crumbles to fill in for the texture. It was almost perfect, but something was definitely missing. So I shelved this salad for a while to think about what would bring it all together and set it apart.
Turns out, shredded smoked Gouda cheese was the missing component. Cheese...totally cheese. Of course...cheese. Duh. It was a game changer. Not sure why it didn't come to mind originally.
I used my absolute favorite indoor grill to quickly grill up the broccoli. You can easily use your regular outdoor grill, grill pan or stove grill...whatever is best and easiest for you.
I will leave it up to you "how grilled" you want your broccoli. I did mine with a nice, little, brown char. Char adds smokey flavor so go for it as you see fit, without letting the broccoli become overcooked. It should remain crunchy.
The salad has a nice savory flavor. It is so perfect for your upcoming Labor Day barbecue or any time of year really. The smoked Gouda makes it so amazing!! I can't wait for you to taste it.
If by some chance you need a side dish with a bit of sweetness, feel free to add a couple handfuls of golden raisins. I haven't tried it (yet), but I think they would be perfect.
I added radishes only as garnish, but if you love their peppery taste, feel free to add as many as you think you would like.
Equipment you may need to make this recipe:
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The salad keeps well in the fridge for several days and the dressing can easily be made ahead; about 2 days.
My husband and I fought over the last bowl. Who do you think won?
Grilled Broccoli Salad
Dressing (can be made up to two days ahead):
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/3 cup fresh chives, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2-1/2 - 3 lbs broccoli crowns, florets separated and sliced in half if large
- olive oil
- 1 (16 oz) bag cauliflower crumbles*
- 1 (12 oz) bag broccoli slaw
- 1 (10 oz) bag shredded carrots
- 10 oz shredded, smoked Gouda cheese
- radishes, thinly sliced for garnish
- To make the dressing, add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Cook broccoli in a large pot of boiling water until bright green and lightly tender, about I minute. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water. Let cool and drain. Place in a large bowl. (Best to do in a couple of batches.)
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Toss broccoli with olive oil and season with salt. Grill broccoli, turning occasionally, until it has grill or char marks in spots, about 7 minutes. Remove to a plate and cool.
- In a very large bowl, add cauliflower, broccoli slaw, carrots and cheese. Pour in dressing and give a good initial mixing. Add in grilled broccoli and toss together gently. Garnish with radish slices.
- *Cauliflower crumbles are somewhat new in the produce department. Most stores have them. If you cannot find them, just take a box grater to a couple crowns of whole cauliflower and you will have something similar or chop if finely with a knife.
- Notes: If you would like a sweet component in this salad, try adding some golden raisins.
Other Broccoli Salad Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Skinny Broccoli Salad
- Creamy Broccoli Salad
- Broccoli Apple Salad
- Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad