I obsess over broccoli because it absorbs flavors like a sponge. So today, I created a broccoli crunch salad with curry flavors. Since transitioning to a plant-based diet, I discovered the beauty of seasonings like curry. This broccoli curry crunch salad combines the crunchy texture of my favorite vegetables with the sweetness of dried fruit, curry marinated tofu, and a tangy curry dressing.
As a child, I was not too fond of broccoli. But, I don't think it had much to do with broccoli, as much as it had to do with the fact it was green.
Despite my mom's efforts to hide veggies in our food, my sister and I always discovered them, like it was a scavenger hunt. My sister once hid Brussel sprouts in her napkin with grave consequences.
HOWEVER, as I grew older, I learned to love broccoli and make it the center of many dishes, like in this broccoli curry crunch salad recipe.
Although my mom attempted mashing up broccoli or covering it in cheese sauce, I discovered I enjoyed steamed or roasted broccoli instead of raw. I also prefer my broccoli al dente versus cooked all the way through or overcooked.
HOW TO COOK THE PERFECT BROCCOLI
Since then, I have learned two methods of cooking broccoli, so it isn't overcooked.
First, I like to steam my broccoli, but for slightly less time than suggested. For instance, my vegetable steamer suggests 10-14 minutes; I cook mine for 8 minutes.
Then, I immediately transfer it to a colander and run cold water over the broccoli to stop cooking. Obviously, this method is used to eat my broccoli cold, as in this broccoli curry crunch salad.
If I plan to serve broccoli hot, I recommend roasting it.
Even though this is not a common method of cooking broccoli, I think it is absolutely delicious. Baking broccoli in the oven, for instance, takes 20 minutes at 425 degrees.
Not only does it absorb the seasonings you choose, but it also maintains its crunchiness without getting mushy.
Broccoli is a superfood for super health.
Although Popeye ate his spinach, broccoli is my vegetable for superpowers. The benefits of eating broccoli are astounding at minimal. Broccoli is rich in Vitamins C, A, K, and B and contains minerals and antioxidants to guard against disease.
As a result, research suggests broccoli aids in healthy digestion, blood sugar control, reduces inflammation, and guards against cancers.
Furthermore, broccoli helps aid in maintaining healthy bones and joints. Consequently, broccoli slows the aging process; my favorite reason to eat it!
Making broccoli curry the highlight of your plate
Instead of loading the base of a salad or bowl with lettuce or rice, why not broccoli? For my broccoli curry crunch salad recipe, for example, I used broccoli as my base. Then, I filled the entire bottom of each bowl with cold steamed broccoli.
Although this salad can be served hot, I made it for a luncheon, making it easier to keep it cold.
Then, I added the other ingredients for the crunchy texture and sweet yet sassy taste.
Broccoli Crunch Salad Ingredients
- Pickled Red Onions
- Purple Cabbage
- Oil-Free Curried Cashews
- Dried cranberries
- Grilled Curry Tofu.
How to marinate and cook tofu for salads, bowls, or any entree
Tofu, if prepared properly, is the "meat" of many dishes. Despite the debate over tofu and its health benefits or dangers, I eat tofu often and support its benefits rather than the opposite. With that being said, how you press and prepare tofu determines if you like it or not.
First, you need to press the tofu to reduce the amount of water. If not pressed properly, the tofu ends up mushy and, in my opinion, inedible. Also, pressed tofu marinates better than unpressed tofu. The Perfect Pressed Tofu for Grilling, Baking, or Cooking in a Skillet is a link that can help you learn how to press tofu correctly.
Even though most stores carry extra firm tofu, some stores, like Whole Foods, carry sprouted tofu, which does not have to be pressed. So, if you don't have time to press, buy sprouted tofu.
Although I do bake and air-fry tofu, my favorite method is to grill marinated tofu.
Once pressed, I marinate the tofu overnight or for at least a few hours.
What's in the curry tofu marinade?
- Soy or tamari (gluten-free) sauce
- Curry powder
- Garam masala
Then, grill the tofu in my grill basket and either refrigerate it until I am ready to use it or use it right then. Because the broccoli curry crunch salad is served cold, I grilled it the night before.
Next, cut it into bite-sized pieces to place on top of the broccoli curry salad. If you plan to eat this bowl hot, wait until the tofu has cooled to the touch before cutting.
The combination of flavors creates an incredible broccoli curry salad
Due to how porous the broccoli and tofu are, the curry marinate/dressing absorbs like a sponge. For that reason, using broccoli and tofu creates an overall delicious and rich broccoli curry crunch salad.
As said before, the celery and peanuts provide an added crunch, while the dried cranberries give a sweet undertone. On the other hand, the pickled onions add an acidic zest to the flavors.
The curry dressing, however, brings it all together with a deep, earthy-sweet taste. Since the dressing and the marinade are the same, with a little twist, the tofu has a grilled, charred curry flavor, while the dressing is sweeter and slightly spicy.
Once assembled and dressed, the ingredients meld together for an incredible marriage of flavors. Hot or cold, this broccoli salad tastes fabulous.
And, if you have extra dressing, use it in a wrap, on a salad, or a great dip for veggies or The Perfect Crispy Air-Fried Steak Fries.
Can the broccoli crunch salad be dressed immediately and served later?
- Of course. In fact, I suggest dressing the salad, tossing, and then allowing it to chill for a few hours so the flavors enhance in the refrigerator.
How long does the curry broccoli crunch salad last in the refrigerator?
- The salad lasts 5 days covered in the refrigerator.
What other nuts are a substitution for the Oil-Free Curried Cashews?
- Substitution peanuts for cashews.
Can this dish be served warm instead of cold?
- Yes, make sure not to rinse the broccoli in cold water, and assemble the salad immediately instead of placing it in the refrigerator.
And, if you are a broccoli curry fan, try these recipes:
- Thai Green Curry
- Thai Curry Noodle Bowl
- Thai Red Curry Vegetables
- Red Coconut Curry Stir Fry
- Crockpot Curry Crushed Lentil Stew
- Curry Pizza
- Curry Chickpea Sandwich Spread
- Massaman Curry
Broccoli Curry Crunch Salad
Curry Marinade (½ used for dressing)
- ¼ cup soy or tamari gluten-free sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
- 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
- 1 ½ teaspoons coriander
- ½ inch fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked overnight
- ½ of the above marinade
- 1 cup water
- If using form tofu, press it with a tofu press. If using the extra firm or sprouted tofu, skip this step.
- Cut into four sections for grilling.
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender.
- Blend until smooth
- Set ½ of the marinade in an airtight container and add tofu.
- Leave the remaining half in the blender to make the dressing.
- Using half the marinade, drain cashews and add to the blender.
- Then add all remaining ingredients.
- Blend until smooth.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Steam broccoli florets for 8 minutes
- Remove from steamer and rinse with cold water, in a colander, to store cooking.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you plan to use it.
- Cut celery, cabbage, red pickled onions (or raw red onions) and set them aside.
Grilling the Tofu
- Preheat the grill to medium-low
- Remove tofu from the marinade and place directly on the grill, mat, or basket.
- Cook on for 7 minutes on both sides.
- Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.
- Tofu can be used as soon as it is cooled or stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Cut tofu into bite-sized pieces.
Assembling the Salad
- Place broccoli in the bottom of the bowl
- Add celery, nuts, cranberries, and pickled onion.
- Top with grilled tofu
- Drizzle with dressing
- Garnish with green onions and microgreens.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂