Would you believe that the phrase “sugar cured” has been electronically tacked to a sticky note on my computer dashboard for nearly four years? When I wrote it there, beneath all-important info like my undergrad ID number and MCAT username, I knew I would eventually go to med school somewhere, and I knew that cooking and baking would be integral to staying whole and happy throughout the journey. Besides that, I knew little else about what the future would hold. But I had a hunch that this lovely little notion of being “sugar cured” would weave its way into my life, and I am ever so grateful that it has materialized into this blog that celebrates food and friendship.
It’s only fitting that the first recipe I share is one that has been stuck in my family’s list of favorites for years. I originally concocted this creation in high school as a curried chicken salad. During the school year, I’d make it in big batches for my dad and I to eat for lunch throughout the week. During the summer, I’d pack containers of it to eat on Stiltsville, where my sister and I would spend our weekends basking bayside in the Miami sun. Now, during the few yet treasured breaks I get to go back home, I try to find the time to mix up a bowl of curried chicken salad, primarily for nostalgia’s sake.
This time around, away from home and amongst fewer meat-loving friends, I decided to give the recipe a vegetarian twist by replacing chicken with roasted broccoli, and the results were quite tasty. The curry sauce, based in Greek yogurt, is light and creamy with a balance of sweet and spice. The salad is studded with dried cranberries and golden raisins and has the added crunch of toasted almonds and Granny Smith apples. It’s healthy and refreshing: the cure for boring lunchboxes, empty picnic baskets, and—as I learned firsthand this week—offsetting the seemingly constant stream of sugary goodness that emerges from our oven. Now that I’ve tried the salad with broccoli, visions of new versions are dancing through my head. Roasted cauliflower and baked tofu are at the top of the list, but I would encourage you to take this sauce and combine it with your favorite protein or vegetable.
Enjoy this salad, and I hope you continue to stick around and read along as sugar cured comes to life!
Curried Broccoli Salad
4 cups broccoli
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp golden raisins
¼ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
6 oz. Greek yogurt
¼ cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 ½ tbsp curry powder
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
Cook the broccoli until crisp-tender using a method of your preference (steam, microwave, roast—I used the latter method and roasted the broccoli tossed in some olive oil for about 15 minutes at 400). Place cooked broccoli in a large bowl with apple, cranberries, raisins, and almonds. Place remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir until completely combined. Pour sauce over broccoli mixture and stir until thoroughly coated. Salad can be eaten right away or covered and stored in the fridge for up to three days.