With Spring in full swing and Summer just around the corner (hard to believe already), it's a perfect time to resurrect that box of healthy habits we had put away for the Winter. There's no better way to get into that swing than a hearty salad of fresh broccoli and zucchini, along with cherry tomato halves, tossed in warm Dijon dressing. Your heart and body will thank you for this with its low calories, low sodium, and low saturated fats.
This preparation is perfect for 4 servings and if so desired, can be served with a slice of crusty French bread and slivers of Gruyere cheese for the added benefits of calcium and Vitamin D. Total calories per serving is just 175, sodium of only 177 mg., and no saturated fat or cholesterol! You'll be surprised how flavorful this is. Ingredients you'll need for this wonderful salad are:
5 3/8 oz. fresh zucchini (equals 1 medium)
12 oz. fresh broccoli (about 2 nice sized crowns)
5 oz. fresh cherry tomatoes (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cold water
salt and pepper to taste
Begin by preparing the garlic and olive oil. Slice the larger garlic cloves lengthwise down the center to make 2 even halves. Then slice lengthwise in slivers.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Saute the garlic lightly, tossing frequently until garlic slightly changes color to a "champagne" tone. This takes about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool while you prepare the vegetables.
To prepare the broccoli, heat to boiling, about 2 cups of hot water in a large pot. Add a steamer mesh and steam vegetable covered for about 2 minutes. Remove immediately and cool in a bowl of cold water.
Five ounces of zucchini equates to about 1 medium sized about 1.5 inches in diameter. Cut the zucchini into 4 equal parts. Next slice each part in halves lengthwise. Now, slice each half into 4 strips.
Slice each cherry tomato in half and set aside.
Strain the broccoli and pat dry. Cut into nice individual flowerets and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and the zucchini.
To prepare the dressing follow these simple directions. Return the saute pan with the garlic and olive oil to the stove over low heat. Now add the vinegar, water, and Dijon mustard and with a wire whisk, whisk dressing until ingredients are well blended and you have a smooth and silky sauce like texture. Add your salt and pepper to taste and blend one final time. When dressing is warm to the touch, pour it over the vegetables and toss. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the fresh chopped parsley over the top and serve with a slice of crusty French bread and Gruyere cheese if you wish. Enjoy :)
Preparing this dressing over warm heat really brings out the flavors of the mustard and garlic and enhances the depth of your salad. Make sure you don't over heat however! It should be just warm to the touch with your finger.