A flavorful salad that matches with both white and red wines – particularly Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Shiraz – this recipe makes 6 servings as a side dish, or about 3 as a main dish.
* 1 large bunch broccoli, tough stem ends removed
* 1/2 cup pecan halves
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon vegetable or light olive oil
* 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
* 1/2 cup thin slices of sweet onion
* 1/4 cup red bell pepper matchsticks (thin julienne strips)
* 1/4 cup raisins
Separate broccoli into florets. Slice tender parts of stalks into thin, crosswise coin shapes. Bring a 2-quart saucepan half full of lightly salted water to a boil. Toss in florets and coins, and blanch for 30 seconds, then drain quickly and immerse broccoli in a bowl of ice water. Drain again and chill.
Toast nuts by heating them in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Be careful not to scorch them. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and vinegar. Stir in soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Whisk in oil and mayonnaise until smooth. Set aside.
In a glass serving bowl, combine reserved broccoli, onion slices, pepper matchsticks and raisins. Break pecans in half lengthwise. Just before serving, pour dressing over broccoli mixture and toss to coat ingredients well. Scatter toasted pecans on top.