Broccoli Slaw with Cranberry Orange Dressing

Have you ever had broccoli slaw? Years ago I made a stupendous discovery (practically every cooking discovery was to me then, as is still now, a revelation). Broccoli stems, which I usually cut away and discarded when preparing broccoli florets, were perfectly delicious raw.

Broccoli florets I can’t stand raw, neither the texture nor the taste (why do people insist on putting raw broccoli florets in salads? shudder). But the stems? All you have to do is cut away the tough, outer peel. Slice up the peeled stems and they are wonderfully cool and crunchy. Like carrots or celery, great for dipping.

Broccoli Slaw Broccoli on Simply Recipes

Broccoli stems taste a bit like cabbage, unsurprising given that they are both of the brassica family of vegetables. So naturally, the shredded stems work well in a slaw, especially tossed with grated cabbage and carrots. Someone at the grocery head office must have figured this out too because these days it’s pretty easy to find pre-grated “broccoli slaw” mixes in the bagged lettuce aisle. Though it’s easy enough to grate your own, just like carrots, peel and grate.

Broccoli Slaw Broccoli Stems on Simply Recipes

The following recipe scales up easily, if you are feeding a crowd. The dressing is wonderfully tangy and slightly sweet with the dried cranberries, balsamic, honey, orange juice, and orange zest. Perfect for serving alongside pulled pork or with seafood. Enjoy!

Broccoli Slaw with Cranberry Orange Dressing Recipe

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8.

Ingredients

Dressing (makes about 1 cup)

  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp dried sweetened cranberries, plumped up in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes, then drained
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, more to taste
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil (or canola, peanut, or rice bran oil)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

Salad

  • 4 cups peeled and grated broccoli stalks (from about 6 stalks of broccoli, or you may be able to buy already grated, packaged)*
  • 2 cups grated carrots (from 4 to 6 carrots)
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (Napa cabbage, green, or red cabbage)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Kosher salt

Method

broccoli-slaw-3 broccoli-slaw-4

*If using freshly broccoli stalks, cut them away from the broccoli crowns. Peel the tough outer  layer with a vegetable peeler. Either use the grater blade of a food processor or the large holes of a box grater to grate the broccoli stalks.

1 Make the dressing. Put the balsamic and red wine vinegars, plumped dried cranberries, mustard, honey, garlic, orange juice, orange zest, and salt  into a blender or a mini food processor and pulse until puréed smooth. Slowly add the vegetable oil, while pulsing or blending, to form a good emulsion. Then add the mayonnaise and pulse until blended.

2 Place grated broccoli stalks, carrots, cabbage, the onions, dried cranberries, orange zest, and Kosher salt into a bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine, until the dressing is evenly distributed.

You can make several hours ahead of time before serving.

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Broccoli Slaw on Simply Recipes

23 Comments

  1. Tina

    I never knew! Thank you for sharing your broccoli stem revelation. My son already prefers the stems :), so this raw preparation is most welcome news.

  2. sarah toasty

    love broccoli slaw! my store normally only sells the crowns, so I go for the pre shredded broccoli stems… love the addition of plumped up dried cranberries, what a great way to add a little sweetness!

  3. Tina

    I absolutely love broccoli stems and this looks delicious! Just so that i don;t confuse it with something healthy though, a bit of crumbled bacon mixed in would not be a bad thing.

  4. Judy

    I’m in complete agreement regarding raw broccoli florets – can’t stand them, although I love them cooked or blanched. I do enjoy a broccoli slaw though and this one sounds delightful! Thanks!

  5. Cathy

    I love brocolli slaw, and as much as I love brocolli I too hate the florets raw!
    Cauliflower florets raw, however, are great!

    I make brocolli slaw with dried cranberries and mixed chopped nuts. I will definitely try it with your dressing next time – it sounds fantastic!!!

    Thanks for another great recipe. Glad you’re finally feeling better …

  6. KalynsKitchen

    I love broccoli stems, so tasty. Glad you are finally feeling better!

  7. Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    Great idea, although I have to admit that I like the florets raw too! Love the idea of the dressing on this. It’s great to have a tasty alternative to mayonnaise.

  8. Maureen

    I would love this slaw sitting on a pulled pork sandwich – Tennessee style.

  9. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This slaw looks so good!! YUM!

  10. Chris Caldwell @ World Cup of Food

    I just finished an episode of Jacques Pepin’s “Fast Food My Way” in which he said that he thinks the stem is the most flavorful part of the broccoli. This makes two respected authorities in the span of about half an hour giving me unsought confirmation for what I knew all along!

    I think it tastes a lot like kohlrabi.

  11. Cinaincucina

    Very good!!!!

  12. Sommer @ASpicyPerspective

    Broccoli slaw is one of my favorite dishes! I like the addition of the cranberries!

  13. Joyce @ MustardSeeds+Hope

    Delicious! Thank you for your ideas!

  14. Joshua Hampton

    I don’t throw away broccoli stems. They’re great for mixed veggie dishes. It never occurred to me, though, to use them in slaw. This is amazing. Thanks for this.

  15. Greg Urbano

    What a simple and delicious looking recipe!

  16. Leslie Scalfano

    I totally agree about raw florets!
    I learned about the tastiness of broccoli stems from my grandmother, who peeled and shared them with me when we cooked together. It was one of those little “cook’s treats”, a perk for being the one in the kitchen. It never occurred to either of us to make them into a table dish, and it was many years later before I first saw broccoli slaw. I guess the secret is out!

  17. Sandy S

    It is a curious thing about eating raw broccoli in salads, isn’t it? I too find the nicest little raw broccoli heads like eating a bit of a plastic sponge! Ugh! For me, blanching or a quick zap in the micro wave, usually is enough to make them palatable, when cool. And, sometimes halving or quartering makes them more appealing. Oddly, that the slender 2nd growth of single heads that form after the first cluster is harvested, are usually quite tender (almost willowy) and just fine for salads. I was reminded of this recently when I saw bunches of these ‘2nd growth heads’ being sold like bunches of radishes at the local produce store. Of course, they were at a price that made me blink! But, I was happy to see them, all the same. I very much like the stems as well and look forward to trying this recipe!

  18. Carla

    My husband and I enjoy eating our broccoli steamed, then coated with the lightest dab of butter. I REALLY dislike the florets. It’s the texture. No, it’s the flavor. Yeah, I don’t like anything about the florets. So we slice up the stems for me. It’s one of those Jack Sprat sort of arrangements. I get the yummy, sweet stems and he gets the yucky florets! We just slice the stems up thinly so they cook to a barely tender state.

  19. john calabria

    Broccoli, and garlic are like glo-sticks. To maximize the healing power of broccoli, cut and let sit for 20 minutes for the beneficial nutrients to form.

    check out

    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/sometimes-the-enzyme-myth-is-true/

    enjoy!

    -j

  20. Susan

    I feel the same way about broccoli florets. Those little buds get stuck in your teeth..drives me crazy! I especially like broccoli slaw (the kind you find prepared in the bag, though I could make it myself!) used for stir fry. It retains the crunch yet cooks through quickly. Of course, nothing beats using those stems for slaw!

  21. Carolyn Miller

    I have been eating Broc. Slaw for 12 plus years. I must confess to only ever buying the pre-packaged Slaw which is also organic nowadays . I love it raw, steamed and stir fried.

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