The Good Life With IQ

A hearty, guilt-free vegetarian salad: Broccoli and crispy potato with honey-mustard vinaigrette

Whip up this healthy, hearty vegetarian salad in 30 minutes for the perfect guilt-free meal. This recipe serves four.

My wife and I are both very fond of cooking, and while she specializes in north-Indian and Bengali food, my cooking tends towards south-Indian, Hyderabadi and European. I’ve always liked to experiment with dips and dressings, and realized that a good vinaigrette can add zing to almost anything. Combining that with another condiment I love—mustard—seemed the most natural thing to do. Of course, mustard and vinegar together can pack quite a punch, and need something to balance them out. Enter the honey, which doesn’t just keep things mellow but, happily, also allows the ingredients to combine much more easily.

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Here, then, is my recipe for simple and satisfying broccoli and crispy potato with honey-mustard vinaigrette dressing.

Preparation time: 15 mins. | Cooking time: 15 mins. | Serves: 4

Also read: Ten tips on giving up meat, from a former carnivore

What goes into it

  • Broccoli – 1 medium-sized head
  • Regular, all-purpose potatoes – 8
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp.
  • Butter – 1 tsp.
  • Water for boiling

For the vinaigrette dressing

  • Vinegar (preferably apple cider) – 1 tbsp.
  • Smooth yellow mustard – 1 tbsp.
  • Honey – 3 tbsp.
  • Olive oil (preferably extra-virgin) – 4 tbsp.
  • Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • Salt – to taste
honey-mustard-vinaigrette_ingredients2
Your ingredients: broccoli, potato, honey, vinegar, mustard and black pepper (in the mortar). Yes I know, the oil and salt are missing!
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How it’s done

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are probably sitting in your kitchen already, or are at least easily available. If not, feel free to experiment and let me know how it turns out. The only note of caution I would sound is to keep the proportion of vinegar to olive oil in the vinaigrette at one part vinegar to four parts oil. This is the proportion I’ve found works best so that your vinaigrette emulsifies into a nice thick consistency, instead of separating into layers. Of course, the honey helps the emulsification, so that will give you some leeway too.

You can watch the vinaigrette recipe video to see how it’s done.

honey-mustard-vinaigrette_after-cooking2
Prepped and ready to go. Except for the peppercorns.

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette except the olive oil, and mix well.
  • Add the olive oil and mix vigorously for a few minutes until you have a sauce-like or ‘coating’ consistency (if you need to adjust the taste, you can add a little more honey, mustard, salt or pepper; don’t add any more oil or vinegar, or the vinaigrette might separate). Set aside.
  • Wash the broccoli well and cut into medium-sized florets; wash, peel and cut the potatoes into quarters.
  • Boil the potatoes in water until half-done (approximately 5 minutes in a pressure cooker or 8 minutes in an open saucepan).
  • Drain the potatoes and allow the excess water to steam off for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, boil the broccoli in water until just soft (approximately 5 minutes in an open saucepan, depending on how soft you like it).
  • Once the broccoli is done, drain and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Heat the 2 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tsp. of butter in a non-stick pan, add the potatoes and toss them on medium heat until the outside turns crisp (check a piece to make sure it’s cooked through before taking the pan off the heat).
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Serve everything tossed together or separately, warm or cold. However you like it.

honey-mustard-vinaigrette_pouring2
Now that’s a vinaigrette!
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Top tips

  • Use one part vinegar to four parts olive oil for your best chance at a nice, thick mixture.
  • If you think three tablespoons of honey is a bit much, try starting out with one. You can always mix in more later.
  • You can give your vinaigrette even more flavour with a few mixed herbs, some chilli flakes, a tiny bit of minced garlic or a little finely chopped onion.
  • The spongy head of the broccoli is great at soaking up and holding the vinaigrette, but if that’s not something you like, you can use cauliflower instead.
  • Besides as a dressing, you can use your honey-mustard vinaigrette as a dip for pretty much any finger food.
  • Don’t worry if your vinaigrette has separated by the time you have everything else ready. Give it a good stir and it should combine again.

Happy cooking, and remember to let me know if you have some good ideas for this recipe!

Also read: Ten tips on giving up meat, from a former carnivore

honey-mustard-vinaigrette_final-plate2
Your final plate, with maybe a tad too much dressing…

 

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