blueberry beet 'n bacon broccoli salad
I love a big-ass salad. Excuse the language (sorry Grandma!), but there is no other way to adequately describe how satisfying it is to dive into a brimming bowl of the freshest produce, as the bevy of crunchy, salty, sweet, crisp ingredients transforms into a symphony in your mouth.
Big-ass salads are staples in my kitchen, when my fridge is brimming with the freshest seasonal produce and my body is craving something nutrient-dense and 100% nourishing. This recipe was on repeat for me all summer, as my continued infatuation with tahini waxed and waned, and my love of bacon never faltered. Make a big batch on a lazy Sunday, and reap the rewards of fantastic leftovers (and happy desk lunches!) in the days that follow. Or, bring it to backyard BBQ and impress all your friends with its impeccable color and unexpected ingredient combo (blueberries AND broccoli?!? Whaaaat?).
For the salad:
• 5 pieces thick-cut bacon, cooked, cooled, and coarsely chopped
• 2 small beets, shredded or very thinly sliced or julienned
• 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
• 1/3 cup chopped red onion
• 4 cups finely chopped broccoli
• 6 large medjool dates, pitted and sliced into thin strips
• 1 cup blueberries
For the dressing:
• 4 tbsp. tahini
• 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1 tbsp. maple syrup
• 2 hefty pinches garlic powder, or one small garlic clove (diced)
• salt and pepper to taste
In a VERY large mixing bowl, fold together all salad ingredients and set aside. Add all dressing ingredients to a small mason jar, and shake vigorously until emulsified and well-combined. If dressing seems too thick, add 1-2 tbsp. hot water and shake to incorporate.
Pour dressing over the salad bowl contents, and stir together until salad is well coated. Taste, and add more salt or pepper as needed. I served mine with additional bacon on top (because...bacon).
NOTE: I julienned the beets in the image above, but found that I preferred to grate the beets when I made the salad again. It will turn your salad a bright purple, but I preferred the texture and loved that the beet flavor got more incorporated into the salad.