Broccoli Slaw

I've been enjoying the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook this week. There are several recipes that I would love to try from Deb Perelman's book, but this is the only one I've tried so far - and I've made it twice. This is the broccoli salad that you have either made for family gatherings or you've eaten at family gatherings. It is such a familiar salad, yet I didn't have a recipe for it and I'm not sure that it would have crossed my mind to try and find one.

I am happy to report that this recipe is as good as you remember... better, in fact. The first batch I made was so enticing to me, I had a big bowl of it before bed. And then I lay there, not sleeping, cursing myself, wondering what had possessed me to eat that much broccoli at 9:30 at night. Proceed with caution.

Broccoli Slaw

2 heads broccoli (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Trim the broccoli and chop it into large chunks; then cut each chunk into thin slices. I usually cut the stems into thin slices, then stack the slices and cut them in the other direction, into thin matchsticks (I was too precise with these instructions).

Toss the broccoli with the almonds and cranberries. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, mayo, vinegar, sugar, and salt until smooth. Stir in the onion. You can let the onion marinate in the dressing for 10 minutes, to mellow it. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture, and add a generous amount of black pepper. Stir the salad until the broccoli is evenly coated with the dressing. Serve immediately, or keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.


Napa & Sonoma - 2013

Arista Winery, Healdsburg
I have recently returned from spending two nights in Napa Valley and two nights in Sonoma Valley. My friend Kristin and I went to celebrate her 40th birthday - and celebrate we did! Here are some of the food/wine highlights.... 

Chateau St. Jean, Sonoma
Out of four dinners, we had reservations for three nights. The fourth dinner was as good as any of the other meals, if not better, a testament to the caliber of food available in the area.

 The Girl & The Fig - Sat at the bar and indulged in a pork belly sandwich on house-made brioche followed up with homemade vanilla ice cream with a warm fig & salted caramel sauce.

BarnDiva - A little fancier, the chevre croquettes with tomato marmalade, honey, and lavender were scrumptious.
Mustards Grill - A Napa favourite, we shared the popular pork chop, after starting with crab cakes (crabs are in season till the end of April apparently).
Ad Hoc - The more reasonably priced cousin of The French Laundry, we by no means felt hard done by. In fact, we felt fantastic! Soba noodle salad, duck breast with duck confit, a cheese plate with Marcona almonds, and an ice cream sundae to end things off.

Not only were the dinners delicious, the breakfasts and lunches were very good, too. And the coffee... Don't even get me started...

Beer-Batter Fish Tacos
Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma
Kristin & I

Bouchon Bakery, Yountville

Ritual Coffee, Oxbow Market, Napa

C Casa, Oxbow Market, Napa
Plump Jack Winery, Napa