(Paleo) Summer Broccoli Salad

Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic

My mom made a broccoli salad like this when I was growing up. I still have her hand-written recipe card and used that as inspiration for this version. For some reason, despite broccoli having a reputation of not being the most kid-friendly food, I LOVED her salad. The combination of crunch and creamy, savory bacon and a bit of sweet…it was so good!

I didn’t realize, though, that probably one of the reasons I loved it so much had to do with the crazy amount of sugar added to it. And it wasn’t just my mom’s recipes. I’ve looked up similar versions online, many of them loaded with granulated sugar.

If you look around my website, it’ll quickly become obvious I’m not anti-sugar. I just want it in the right places—like a good shortbread cookie (basically butter, flour, and sugar) or simple syrup (sugar and water) for cocktails. But whenever I can, I decrease the amount of sugar in recipes or use unrefined sugars like honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.

This recipe cuts down on the sweetness and uses honey. The mayo-based dressing gets tossed together with crunchy broccoli, crisp bacon, red onion, raisins, and pine nuts for the perfect combo of flavors. To be honest, I think I love this paleo-fied broccoli salad even more than the one I grew up eating!

Scroll down for the recipe!

Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic
Paleo Summer Broccoli Salad | Sarah J. Hauser #dairyfree #glutenfree #summersalad #potluckrecipe #cookout #picnic

(Paleo) Summer Broccoli Salad
Yields about 8 servings

16 ounces broccoli florets* (about 5.5-6 cups)
12 ounces bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp
½ cup chopped red onion
½ cup raisins
½ cup pine nuts or sunflower seeds
¾ cup mayonnaise
2-3 Tablespoons honey (I used 2)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Add the broccoli, cooked bacon, onion, raisins, and pine nuts to a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayo, honey, and vinegar. Pour the dressing over the rest of the ingredients and toss well. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

You can serve this salad immediately, but it’s best if you let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours. Just give it a good stir when you’re ready to serve, as the dressing can gather at the bottom.

Enjoy!

*If you’re cutting the florets from a stem (as opposed to buying a bag of florets), don’t throw those stems out! Click here for tips on using them up!


Grilled Romaine with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

When I'm trying to step up my vegetable eating game, it's easy for me to get stuck in a salad rut. I tend to make the same old pile of lettuce, a few chopped carrots and maybe a cucumber or bell pepper. After a while it's just...well...boring. And eating - even eating healthfully - shouldn't be boring. 

I can’t remember where I first saw the idea for grilled romaine lettuce, but I was immediately intrigued. I absolutely love other grilled vegetables like eggplant, zucchini and asparagus. Why not lettuce, too?

Romaine works really well on the grill because it’s hearty and can hold its shape in the midst of the heat. The smoky flavor from the char on the leaves takes the salad to a whole new level, especially when combined with roasted red pepper dressing. The pureed peppers provide a creamy texture without actually adding any milk-based ingredients, and a few toasted pine nuts add a crunchy, nutty finishing touch. 


Grilled Romaine with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
Yields 4 side dish servings

2 heads romaine lettuce, rinsed and patted dry
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Handful of pine nuts
Roasted Red Pepper Dressing (recipe below)

Add a handful of pine nuts to a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the pine nuts get slightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Slice the romaine heads in half lengthwise. Drizzle both sides with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Make sure it’s fully preheated before adding the lettuce so you get the best char. Add the romaine slices cut side down to the preheated grill and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes. Flip them over and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until charred and slightly wilted. 

Transfer to serving platter or individual plates. Drizzle Roasted Red Pepper Dressing and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
Yields about 10 ounces

1 shallot, chopped
2 roasted red peppers (don’t bother with store-bought – make your own!)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper

In a small sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened and almost translucent.

Add the cooked shallot, roasted peppers and vinegar to a blender and blend well. Add in ½ cup of olive oil and a few sprinkles of salt and pepper. Blend until ingredients are fully incorporated. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. You may need to shake the dressing up before serving. Serve over grilled romaine.


This post was originally featured by Bright, Bold & Beautiful.