Raw Broccoli Slaw with Cashew Lime Vinaigrette

by Gwen on January 4, 2011 · 2 comments

As I’m sure you’ve seen, we’ve been eating a lot of decadent food over the holiday break.  Yeah, common, I know you were too.  In fact, we were actually starting to, dare I say it, long for our lighter, healthier pre-holiday diet.  On the whole we’ve been cutting out a lot of processed foods and starchy carbs and looking for more ways to get the most nutrition into our diet, which can be a tricky thing on a busy schedule.  A few months ago I spotted a bag of broccoli slaw at Trader Joes, which consists of raw julienned broccoli stems and carrots, and I thought it would pair nicely with an asian-flavored vinaigrette.  Yet despite all the good ingredients I was putting into the dressing, I always felt like something was lacking.  The breakthrough for this recipe came when I realized what bugged me most about the dressing was that it wasn’t thick enough to cling to the broccoli, leaving a flavorful, neglected puddle on your plate.  So looking for a healthful solution I tossed in a handful of cashews and voila, problem solved!  This makes a super speedy weeknight side, which goes great with some grilled teriyaki chicken, salmon, or shrimp.  It’s light, crunchy and full of yum.

Raw Broccoli Slaw with Cashew Lime Vinaigrette
Serves 4 as a Side

1/8 cup lime juice (1/2 a big lime)
1/8 cup brown rice wine vinegar (i find this has a deeper, richer flavor than the regular kind)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar or honey
1 clove garlic, minced (or grated on a microplane)
2 tbsp mirin
1/2 tsp sriracha sauce (or a pinch of red chili flakes)
1/4 cup canola oil (substitute any mellow flavored oil)
1/4 cup toasted cashew pieces plus 3 tbsps for the dressing
Handful of cilantro, torn into pieces
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
1 12-oz bag of broccoli slaw (or 1 1/2 cups grated broccoli stem and 1/2 cup grated carrot)
Handful of sesame sticks (optional)

In a food processor, or in a tall-sided bowl with an immersion blender, combine the lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, mirin, and sriracha.  Blend briefly to combine.  With the blender running, slowly stream in the oil so the dressing emulsifies.  Then toss in the 3 tbsps of toasted cashew pieces and blend until smooth.  The dressing should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  It’ll still be a liiittle gritty from the nuts, which I didn’t mind at all, but feel free to strain it through a fine mesh sieve if you’re looking for a silkier texture.

In a large bowl, combine the raw broccoli slaw, cilantro, scallions, and cashew pieces.  Gently toss with the dressing and top with crunchy sesame sticks and additional scallions and cilantro leaves for color.

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