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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Broccoli Salad with Blue Agave Nectar & Aka Miso Vinaigrette

easy recipe fusion cuisine Broccoli Salad with Blue Agave Nectar  Aka Miso Vinaigrette

Salads are so unassuming and ubiquitous that it is hard to bring them front-and-center, right under the spotlight. To me, what makes a salad is not just the mix of greens and veggies, but the dressing or vinaigrette that brings out the flavors and sets the mood for the meal.

Of course, oftentimes, the salad is our meal at home - tossed or layered - with harmonious ingredients thrown in, and some odd ones just because they are handy and need to be used up...

Typical Broccoli Salad usually has some bacon, sliced almonds and raisins, with a sweetish mayonnaise-based dressing.

My recipe is not very different in concept - I omit the bacon here since none of us at home eat it. Also, rather than traditional mayonnaise, I went with a quick and light dressing.

Fusion cuisine being my signature, the dressing is where I usually like to get creative for salads. The combination of mildly sweet Blue Agave Nectar; bean-ish, tangy, robust, salty Aka Miso; hot Sambal Oelek; biting fresh grated ginger and garlic, all seem to come together in a red wine vinaigrette with bland Canola oil, not the rich Olive oil for this wonderful Broccoli Salad.

Miso is basically fermented soybeans with some grains and salt. It has a complex flavor that is hard to describe. Among the White, Red, and Yellow Misos available readily in the market, White Miso (Shiromiso) is fermented for the shortest time with sweet and mild flavor. The Red Miso (Akamiso) is full-bodied and saltier than white. The Yellow Miso falls in-between Red and White.

Usually, one part vinegar to 3 parts oil makes a good vinaigrette. Depending on the type of vinegar and oil, and personal preferences, can increase the oil or decrease the vinegar for a good balance.

With all the bold flavors, for the sweetness to show through, I add a bit of home-made plum jam in this recipe, but any other favorite low-sugar jam stirred in would add an interesting touch to the dressing.

Since I love to experiment, and vinaigrettes are easy to play with, I enjoy creating unique ones. Maybe someday it would be fun to bottle and market these exclusive creations... Of course, it probably won't help the business if I just share them here:) No matter.

Broccoli florets, bite-sized
Cauliflower florets, bite-sized (optional)
Red grapes, sliced in half (or quartered if they are too big)
Chopped Spring onions

Sliced Almonds or Toasted Sunflower Seeds (or both)
Dried Cranberries (preferably unsweetened)
Unsweetened shredded dried coconut (optional)
Fresh Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Blue Agave Nectar & Aka Miso Dressing
1 to 2 Tbsp Organic Blue Agave Syrup
1 Tbsp Aka Miso (red miso)
1 Tbsp Sambal Oelek
1 Tbsp home-made low-sugar Plum Jam (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup canola oil, plus more if desired


Stir the Vinaigrette ingredients vigorously till well-combined.

Toss the salad ingredients together, drizzle some vinaigrette - generously if preferred. Top with grated Parmesan or Unsweetened shredded coconut, sliced almonds and dried cranberries.

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  • At 11:07 AM, Blogger Parita said…

    I love the addition of sambal olek..yumm!

  • At 12:07 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Parita:: Aren't they so versatile? Good to see another sambal oelek lover:)

  • At 11:57 PM, Anonymous baby cribs said…

    This is a nice salad recipe! This is a great addition to my salad recipes.


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