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Recipe Hack: Warm Broccoli Salad with Onions, Chestnuts and Blue Cheese

warm broccoli salad

It’s a beautiful Bank Holiday Monday here in London. I’ve been celebrating by sitting on the couch, drinking tea and reading magazines. Yes, perhaps the day would better have been spent outside in the sunshine, but we did have the window open, and besides- we had to walk outside to get the magazines. 

The food of the day hasn’t been that interesting. Leftover scones for breakfast, repurposed fried rice (as a scrambled-egg addition) for lunch, and probably a simple pasta for dinner in a bit. Hardly anything to write home about. Er, blog about. 

But earlier this week, I did have a lunch worth blogging over. I told you last Sunday about the Broccoli Salad that I had planned, after enjoying it at The Fellow pub in King’s Cross. A warm salad of purple sprouting broccoli, roasted onions, walnuts and blue cheese, it’s so tasty it would feel sinful, if it wasn’t labeled a “salad” in the menu. (Amazing how that one little word can make almost anything seem healthy, eh?) After deciding to tackle this as a weekday lunch last week, I can honestly say that this is my most successful recipe hack to date. In fact, I think my version far surpasses the original. 

I didn’t have any walnuts available, but I did have some leftover chestnuts in the fridge. At first I worried that these dessert nuts would make the salad too sweet, but not so; they were the perfect foil to the roasted onions and the tangy, cheesy sauce. I think this salad is perfect for an indulgent lunch or a simple dinner, and probably great for company, too: hardly any work, yet it tastes and looks impressive.  

broccoli salad close up

  • Warm Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad w/ Roasted Onions, Chestnuts and Blue Cheese
  • serves one
  • largish bunch purple sprouting broccoli (however much you’re hungry for!), trimmed and rinsed
    1 small onion of 1/2 a medium one, sliced thinly
    olive oil
    4-5 cooked chestnuts, chopped roughly
    40g Dolcelatte, Camboloza or other sweet and mild blue-veined cheese
    2 Tbs. crème fraîche
    salt and pepper
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Toss the onions with a little olive oil, salt and pepper in an oven-proof dish. Roast until softened and turning brown, about 20 minutes.

    2. Lightly steam broccoli for about 3 minutes and rinse quickly in cold water. This is both to stop the cooking process and rinse them of the purple-blue colour they give off when cooked- you don’t want your blue cheese sauce to be, well, blue!

    3. Heat a medium frying pan or saucepan over med-high heat and add the chestnuts. Shake them around for about a minute, until heated through. Add the cheese and crème fraîche, and heath through until the cheese has melted and a thick sauce is formed.

    4. Add the onions and broccoli and toss quickly to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. 


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