This year is the year of crunchy salads. This doesn’t mean that you need a lot of fancy ingredients to make a great salad, but let’s just stop with the soggy lettuce and drab toppers for our salads. This Broccoli Crunch Salad has only a few ingredients but the flavors and, more importantly, textures are A+ delicious.
Broccoli is the star of the show in the crunchy broccoli salad. The salad is probably at least 50% broccoli and that’s okay because when you chop it up finely and use the broccoli stems and fronds, it’s SO much better than you might think of when you think of broccoli.
This broccoli salad recipe will quickly vault to the top of your favorite salad recipes. Trust me!
Ingredients in Broccoli Crunch Salad
This is a pretty simple ingredient list and as you’ll see below there are lots of substitutions available.
- Broccoli! This one isn’t exactly optional. You’ll want fresh broccoli florets and the broccoli stems!
- Celery. Another great, crunchy vegetable that’s easy to chop and add to the salad.
- Apples. Green apples are best but any apple will be fine. Peel the apple and toss it with some lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Scallions. Not exactly crunchy, but they give some subtle onion flavor to the salad.
- Roasted Peanuts. These add a salty crunch to the salad.
- Feta cheese. To counter all the crunch, creamy cheese helps blend everything together.
- Parlsey dressing. I made a new dressing for this version but you could use any flavorful, slightly sweet dressing like this Jalapeno Ranch dressing or this Creamy Pecorino dressing would be great.
How to chop broccoli
This might seem obvious, but it’s probably the most important part of this recipe.
For the broccoli stems, peel the hard outer skin off the stem and then cube up the stem into about 1/4-inch cubes.
For the florets, this is where you can make a mistake. You don’t want whole florets in the salad, which are too big, but also you don’t want it diced so small that the fronds of the broccoli are falling apart. For a small or medium floret, I’ll chop it into four pieces and for a larger floret I’ll chop it into sixths or eighths.
The broccoli mixture should be bite-sized, but not completely pulverized.
Making the lemon parsley dressing
This is a wonderful dressing that would go well on any green salad. It’s bright, slightly sweet, and tangy. I made it in a food processor by processing a large handful of parsley (you can even use some of the smaller stems) and garlic, with lemon juice, salt, cumin, and olive oil.
Process this well until it’s combined and taste. Adjust to your liking and store it in the fridge until you need it!
Making this broccoli crunch salad
This is a very easy salad to make and the instructions are pretty straightforward. You don’t need to cook anything, but do take your time dicing the ingredients. Everything should be roughly the same size. Your celery pieces, apple chunks, chopped broccoli pieces, and peanuts should all be similar in size and nothing too big.
Layer everything in a large bowl with the feta cheese and scallions and then drizzle it with dressing when you serve it. I wouldn’t pre-dress this salad.
What to serve with this broccoli crunch salad
Substitutions and ideas
Lots of substitutions and options for this broccoli crunch salad!
- Add other crunchy vegetables to the mix like shredded carrot or cabbage or slivered red onion.
- Add more sweet elements to the salad with dried fruit like dried cranberries or cherries.
- Instead of peanuts, try sunflower seeds, toasted almonds, or pine nuts.
Broccoli Crunch Salad
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ lemon, juice only
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup olive oil
Broccoli Crunch Salad
- 2 large stalks broccoli, chopped
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
- ½ lemon, juice for apple
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 scallions, chopped
- ½ cup peanuts, roasted and salted
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Scrape sides down a few times ot ensure everything is mixed. Alternatively, if you don't have a food processor, you can finely chop garlic and parsley and whisk together ingredients.
- Store dressing in the fridge until needed. It will keep fine for a week at least.
Making the Broccoli Crunch Salad
- Chop broccoli into stalks and florets. Peel stalks and cube into 1/4-inch cubes. Chop florets into bite-sized pieces. Add to a large bowl and layer in chopped celery, chopped apple, scallion, peanuts, and crumbled feta.
- Drizzle salad with dressing right before serving.