Blog RSS feed

The Full Yield Blog

Broccoli and Tomato Salad with Olives and Basil

October 10, 2011 | Tags: Deborah Madison , Food , Vegetables | Post comment

Broccoli and Tomato Salad with Olives and Basil

This is a salad that doesn’t sound like it makes sense. Broccoli and tomatoes? But sometimes the sweet broccoli is coming on just when the tomatoes are going out, which is just the nature of fall’s transitional season.  Broccoli always needs a little snap and brightness to bring out its best qualities, and tomatoes provide just that with their acidity. I used very small yellowish green tomatoes that look like they’re tart, but in fact they were quite ripe with a good balance of acidity. As there was still some basil in the garden, I added that along with some oil-cured olives and a mustard vinaigrette. If this is to be my main course, I add a little feta cheese to this salad, or some toasted walnuts. If it’s a side dish, I don’t. But you can certainly experiment with other additions.


1 pound young broccoli
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
a handful or two small tomatoes, halved or quartered
several basil leaves, shredded
a dozen oil cured olives or Kalamata olives

Zest of 1 lemon
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice plus more, to taste
1 shallot or ½ small red onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil


1.    Separate the florets of the broccoli. Peel the stems. If they’re rather hefty, look closely and make sure your knife is going under the visible epidermis. If they are smaller, there may not be such a layer and you can easily remove the surface peel with a paring knife. Cut the stems into 2-inch lengths, then halve them and thinly slice.  Steam florets and sliced stems over boiling water until bright green and tender, then turn the broccoli out onto a platter.

2.    Meanwhile make the vinaigrette: combine all the ingredients but the oil in a bowl.  Whisk in the olive oil and whisk some more to make a thick emulsion. Pour this over the warm broccoli and toss with your hands so that it is well coated.

3.    Add the tomatoes, olives and basil. Taste for salt and season with plenty of pepper. If you like more acidity, add a little additional lemon juice.

 Serves 2 to 4