Broccoli & Hazelnut Salad with Creme Fraiche

I am, yet again, with child. And if anyone has had the pleasure you will know that pregnancy does things to your body you really wish it wouldn’t. For example, and I’m just shooting the shit here (metaphorically speaking), constipation. Old wives will tell you to drink prune juice. Well, that’s all well and good but not always effective. I’ve heard. From other pregnant women. Not me, I’m not constipated at all. I’m super thrilled about my ablutions if you don’t mind.

Research will tell you quite a few things to try, one of which is raw broccoli. oh ho ho ho ho, wacky. So chow down on some raw broccoli I did. I was desperate. For the purposes of the story.

I can’t complain however because I chanced upon something delicious that is gonna stay in the lunchtime repertoire, compaction notwithstanding. Yes, the broccoli is raw but the generous amount of lemon used to macerate the little suckers softens them up till they are just tender yet still firm enough to bite into. The longer you let it sit, the softer it gets. I intended to wait the full hour on first tasting but I was hungry. I waited about 15 minutes. Don’t be judgy, I’m pregnant.

In case you were wondering, yes, the raw broccoli worked a charm. Halle-effing-lujah!

If you would like to fancy things up, or make a dinner out of it, I imagine some albacore tuna or poached chicken would be a delightful addition.

Ingredients

  • half a head of broccoli
  • a handful of coriander, ripped from a bunch
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche or greek yoghurt
  • 40g hazelnuts (to taste)
  • salt & pepper

Gear

  • Thermomix (not mandatory, don’t have one, use your hands and a knife you Bear Grylls you!)
  • Frypan
  • Plastic salad bowl (not metal, because it sits in the bowl for a while, the lemon juice will react to it and make the salad taste unpleasant)

Method

  1. In the frypan, dry toast your hazelnuts till they are fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool (remove the papery skin at this point if you aren’t lazy)
  2. Into the Thermomix bowl, chuck in your coriander and garlic and chop finely 5 secs / speed 4.  If you are doing it the old fashioned way, you know, it ain’t complicated, chop them finely.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and add the broccoli – I rip off the florets and chuck them in.  If I know I have time to let it sit for a while then I will add the stem as well, cutting it in half before chucking it in
  4. Blitz the broccoli 5 secs / speed 4. You aren’t going for a fine chop here just a very loose rough one because you want chunky bits to bite into
  5. Remove to a bowl and add the lemon juice and some salt & pepper (to taste, I like it as peppery as Tony Jones hair ie pretty damn peppery). Give it a jolly good stir so the lemon juice can work its way into all the little florets.
  6. Sit for one hour. If you can. It won’t be disappointing to eat immediately but it does soften pleasantly over time.
  7. To serve, sprinkle the hazelnuts on top and add a big dollop of creme fraiche or yoghurt
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