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Broccoli Salad with Sun-Dried Apples, Cranberries and Candied Pecans

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Published 1:00 am, Tuesday, November 18, 2008
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Chef Steve's tip: Serve this any day, but this salad will be on my Thanksgiving table this year. Use Fuji, Gala or Granny Smith apples for this recipe. Although you can use raw nuts, toasting them brings out their flavor. If you don't have dried apples, you can use dried apricots or figs. Be sure to add the dressing soon after cutting the apples and combining them with the broccoli or they will turn brown.

Broccoli Salad:

Water and ice

2 heads broccoli cut into small florets (5 cups)

2 unpeeled large apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup chopped sun-dried apples

1/2 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup toasted pecans halves (See note)

Juice of 1/2 lemon, optional

Creamy Almond Butter Dressing:

1/4 cup almond, cashew or smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup hot water

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch cayenne pepper

To make salad:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook about 30 seconds until they just turn bright green; they will still be very crisp.

2. Immediately drain and put broccoli into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain broccoli and place in the bowl. Add the apples, cranberries and lemon juice, if using to keep apples from browning.

3. Make the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a whisk or immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Combine dressing and broccoli mixture well. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Note: To toast nuts: Place nuts on a baking pan in a 375-degree oven 6 to 8 minutes until lightly browned and aromatic.

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Per serving: 391 calories, 49 percent calories from fat, 21 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, no cholesterol, 50 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams total fiber, 34 grams total sugars, 42 grams net carbs, 7 grams protein, 335 milligrams sodium.