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This broccoli salad is most comparable to tabbouleh as it has a few of the same ingredients however entirely different in flavor and taste. The salad is made up of farro, lemon, citrus, and crunchy ingredients such as toasted walnuts, shaved fennel, and delicious garlicky croutons. For those who are gluten-free, I’ve made adaptations for us as well!
A Note On This Broccoli Crunch Salad
This broccoli crunch salad will be one of your new favorite dishes to have as a lunch as it holds extremely well. Additionally, it is extremely nutrient-dense due to lots of crunchy veggies, healthy fats and protein from the walnuts and farro. Even if choosing to forego the farro, I suggest another healthy gluten-free grain to replace it such as quinoa, or sorghum which helps to additionally boost the protein content.
Make Some Of It Ahead Of Time
This broccoli salad certainly is not one of the more labor-intensive recipes here, which means that even if you don’t prepare it ahead of time, I still like to remind others that this helps combat cooking fatigue!
To prepare some of this dish ahead of time I like to suggest cutting your broccoli into the desired pieces and reserving. Additionally, making your toasted walnuts as well as your croutons, and lastly chopping your romaine & cucumbers helps save time the day of enjoying.
When blanching your broccoli, you will only need to blanch it for a moment for this salad. The bright green that becomes vividly obvious during blanching is due to broccoli’s chlorophyll pigmentation being activated. This is what we want to achieve for our salad, while the cooling process helps to reduce the pigmentation being lost via heat.
Broccoli Crunch Salad
- 3 small blanched broccoli heads & stems
- ½-1 cup toasted walnuts candied are great too!
- 2 cups farro If gluten-free, sub with 1-2 cup sorghum or quinoa or remove
- ½ shaved fennel bulb & stems
- ½-1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup croutons I added salt, pepper, garlic granules, rosemary, & onion granules
- ½-1 tsp salt
- Zest of 1 lemon optional
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ tsp black pepper or pepper blend
- 1 cup chopped romaine optional
- 1 cup chopped cucumber optional
- ¼-⅓ cup quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey use ½ tbsp maple if vegan & taste – add additional ½ tbsp if needed
- Start off by rinsing all of your produce. I suggest rinsing your parsley one day prior to making this recipe so that it has an opportunity to dry prior to finely chopping. (I will placed rinsed parsley in a tall glass with water and leave out overnight for proper drying.)
- Start off by using your chef’s knife, and slice the broccoli stems away from it’s head. Cut as close to the base of the head of the broccoli to achieve a long stalk.
- Next, cut the broccoli heads into small bite-sized pieces and reserve. Next, cut the stems length-wise into diced sized pieces, being sure to remove any woody portions of the stalk. Reserve.
- Following this, use your sauce pot and fill it with filtered water. Bring it to a boil.
- Using one of your stainless steel bowls, add filtered water & ice cubes to create an ice bath.Add both the broccoli stems & heads to the boiling water. Once the color has been activated, remove by using your strainer ladle and addd to your ice bath. This helps to stop the cooking process.
- Strain the broccoli & allow to dry slightly. Reserve.Using your air fryer, cook your walnuts at 350 for 5 minutes or until golden. (I like to chop or crush slightly.)Next, use the same sauce pan to cook the farro according to it’s label. Strain, Cool, & Reserve.
- Use your mandolin next to slice your farro along the blade on a very thin setting. Adjust sizing with the dial on the back of the tool. Reserve fennel.
- Once the farro has cooled, add your farro, broccoli, & fennel to a bowl.
- Zest your lemon into the bowl and add in your remaining ingredients such as your toasted nuts & croutons. Season accordingly with your salt and honey and be sure to taste to adjust.
- Toss to combine & serve with your favorite main or enjoy as is.
- You can find my garlicky crouton instruction by visiting my buttered salmon post paired with a fennel arugula salad.
- Remember oil will bring a trace of bitterness to the mixture, along with the broccoli if it is not blanched, as well as the lemon zest. If you would like to control this, it is necessary to balance with salt alternative (lemon) or with salt content. Sweetness is the strongest tool to balance bitterness. Use these methods to help combat bitterness if you find this to be the case. Tasting your mixture throughout the process is a wise choice to understand personal flavor adjustments.
The Tools I Use For This Broccoli Salad
Below are the kitchen tools that I use to make this salad. I was surprised by how quick this recipe was to make due to utilizing my ChefMan Airfryer. It cut the cooking time down to only 7 minutes to create my croutons. I make croutons on a monthly basis for my salads, however, I have never attempted to use my air fryer before. I cannot stress this enough: If you are a semi-lazy Or experienced cook – YOU NEED AN AIR FRYER!
1. Sauce Pan – Cuisinart Brand | 2. Chef’s Knife – Secondary & more cost-effective option to my favorite chef’s knife (#9) | 3. Microplane – Amazon Brand | 4. Japanese Mandolin – My favorite version & the only one I swear by! | 5. Air Fryer – My favorite brand based off of trying multiple options via client purchases! | 6. Wooden Salad Tongs | 7. Lemon Squeeze – I recommend always buying a metal one vs plastic as it tends to last longer! | 8. Metal Colander | 9. Chef’s Knife – my favorite brand and knife! 10. Strainer Ladle | 11. Spatula | 12. Wood Cutting Board | 13. Bowl – used in photograph / not pictured | 14. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
More Recipes To Enjoy
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