Holiday texture

November 21, 1999|By Annette Gooch | Annette Gooch,Universal Press Syndicate

Here's something different for the Thanksgiving table: a broccoli salad punched up with lemon zest, a garlicky dressing and walnuts.

When you shop for broccoli, look for firm, smooth stalks ending in tender spears with tightly closed blue-green or purplish-green buds. Avoid bunches with tough, woody stalks or yellowish leaves and buds. At home, wash the broccoli in lightly salted lukewarm water, separating the florets to clean them thoroughly, then rinse in cold running water. Use a small, sharp knife to slice the florets from their stems.

To microwave florets from a 1 1/4 pound head of broccoli, place florets and 2 tablespoons water in 1-quart microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high just until florets are crisp-tender (about 3 to 5 minutes). Remove from microwave; let stand, covered, for 2 minutes; drain, then plunge into ice water to cool. Drain again.

Broccoli Salad

Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon each: salt and dried oregano

/ teaspoon seasoned pepper

1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil

1 bunch (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds) broccoli

slivered lemon zest and coarsely chopped toasted walnuts, for garnish

To prepare vinaigrette, in small bowl combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, lemon zest, salt, oregano and pepper. Using whisk or fork, gradually beat in oil until smooth and well blended.

Cut broccoli florets from stalks; separate into bite-sized pieces. Trim and discard ends of stalk; slice stems crosswise 1/2 -inch thick.

Cook florets and stems in small amount of boiling salted water (or steam on a rack) just until color brightens; texture should be tender-crisp (3 to 5 minutes). Plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Drain well in colander.

Mix cooled broccoli lightly with vinaigrette. Garnish with lemon zest and walnuts. Serve at once.

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