You know, I’ve a bone to pick with June. A huge, larger-than-life, we’re -no-longer-BFFs, please-take-your-rainy-self-somewhere-else bone. It’s not just the rain. They say April is the cruelest month? I think if Chaucer was witnessing June, 2009, he might reconsider his claim.
You see, on top of this weather, which would be enough to gripe about, I’ve sustained multiple stress fractures on not one, but two of my toes from running. That’s right – I’m an overachiever even when it comes to fractures. And so in the last week and a half, I’ve been limping and ambling and being generally quite annoyed with my left foot. And the bones in it. Hence lots of bones to pick with June. Get it? Bones? Fractures? Anyone? Anyone? [Deafening silence befalls.]
I know, I have a horrible sense of humor.
At least, when it comes to finding a perfect summer slaw, I can nail it. Jokes–not so much. But picnic ideas–I got that covered.
I suspect that this weather this is somewhat my fault. You see, every time I’ve attempted to put away winter clothes and hang my summer ones, the weather would take a turn for the worse. We’d get clouds, rain and wind and it would get cold for days. Well, this time is no different. New Yorkers, just look outside – do you see what I see? I mean, really, can’t we just wear flannel pajamas to the office and walk around in slippers and mugs of hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate in June must sound crazy, but what’s crazier is that I’m about to suggest that you make a salad. The last thing on your mind, if you live anywhere in the Northeast corridor, is a salad. A soup, a stew, something warm and comforting, perhaps, but a salad sounds positively inappropriate.
After all, salads are for hot days, when it’s muggy and oppressive and you need something crunchy and refreshing to cool you down. Something so delightfully uplifting that you forget the heat’s intensity and sink back in your outdoor chair with an aaaahhh.
But, this is what I have for you, as I’ve promised to write up this recipe weeks ago and that lovely friend is patiently waiting and not sending me reminder emails – something I surely would have done by now. And though I doubt that this broccoli slaw is something on her mind right now, I’m sure that when the weather improves (which will be someday, we hope), she’ll make it for dinner or lunch or maybe even a picnic with friends. Because this, my friends, will become my go-to salad this summer. I’m officially in love with this salad and I think you will be too.
I spied it at Kitchn originally and had it bookmarked on my computer for what seems like ages. And then I saw it over at Smitten Kitchen and it was Deb’s dressing that totally won me over and just like that, hours later, the salad was in the bowl, the dressing was drizzled over and the book club ladies finished the whole mess of it in one fell swoop.
I tweaked the recipe at bit in that I added an apple and some mint to give it a little more dimension. The mint just does the trick, I think. Think of lemonade and then of mint lemonade and you get the idea. And once weather returns to normal summer temperatures, I’ll be sure to make it again and again. For the time being however, I’ll stick with something warm and comforting like hot chocolate perhaps. And maybe a thick woolen sweater. In June.
2 heads broccoli
1 apple (Fuji or Gala are perfect for this)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh peppermint leaves
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
Shred the broccoli in a food processor, using the grater disk (the attachment with the smaller holes, not the one with long, thin blades). I prefer to use all of the broccoli: stems and the florets – the stems give the slaw some crunch and texture. I only chop off the stem ends, but everything else goes into the slaw. In a large bowl, combine the shredded broccoli, apple, currants, cranberries, red onion, almonds and mint.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt or pepper, if needed. Allow to sit for 30 minutes (or an hour in the fridge) so the flavors can mingle.