Lemony Broccoli & Lemon Vinaigrette ♥ Recipes for an Easy Salad

Lemony Broccoli & Lemon Vinaigrette in an Easy Supper Salad
Today's easy salad recipe: Think lemon on lemon, broccoli tops soaked in lemon juice atop lettuce dressed in a creamy lemon vinaigrette. Only two or three points for Weight Watchers and low-carb too. Simple and surprisingly substantial.

While visiting my father earlier this month, one objective was to provide Olga, his loving companion since my mother died, a 'vacation' from cooking and clean-up. Given the unseasonably warm temperatures and our light appetites, suppers were more about assembling salads than actual cooking.

This salad was a surprise hit, including for me, the cook. ;-) That first night, we added some leftover grilled meat to the salad plates (Note to Vegetarians) and found the meal surprisingly substantial: we ALL skipped dessert that night.

I've made it at home twice now since returning and am completely hooked on the simple combination of lemon on lemon. The broccoli tips soak up the lemon, the greens are dressed in a creamy lemon. I tried one version with asparagus but the spears just can't absorb the lemon flavor as well as the broccoli tops.

To my taste, the salad is more than a sum of its parts.

This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long at Kitchen Parade, my food column. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

"... the lemon vinaigrette is fantastic and the whole combination was a nicely different than usual combination for us even though I actually had everything on hand. This is a keeper. Thanks!" ~ Tom & Kari
"Very tasty! I took it to a potluck and it was well-received ..." ~ Nancy


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 4 (as part of the salad, 2 as a side dish)

Well-salted water to cover
1/2 pound broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into florets
Ice water
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cream
1/2 teaspoon good mustard such as Dijon
1/2 teaspoon sugar or to taste (don't skip this, it really draws out the lemon flavor)
Salt & pepper to taste

Lettuce greens, preferably a soft lettuce such as leafy green or leafy red
1 - 2 scallions, chopped
Alfalfa sprouts
1 ounce feta cheese (about one-inch square), crumbled
Cooked Lemony Broccoli

Grilled meat, optional
Sunflower seeds, optional but provide nice texture contrast

BROCCOLI Bring the water to a boil. Drop in the broccoli florets and cook until fully cooked but still bright green. Drain the broccoli and drop into ice water to stop the cooking. Let drain as long as possible, then drop into the lemon juice, broccoli tops first, the better to soak up the liquid. The broccoli could be / maybe even should be cooked at least a few minutes ahead of time to allow time to cool and soak -- or to have on hand for another salad another day!

VINAIGRETTE Whisk together all the ingredients.

TO SERVE Toss the lettuce greens, scallions and alfalfa sprouts with the Lemon Vinaigrette. Arrange the greens on four plates, top with feta cheese and a few more alfalfa sprouts. Arrange the Lemony Broccoli and meat slices, if using, on the salad. Top with sunflower seeds if using. Serve and savor!

AL DENTE? Be sure that the broccoli is cooked enough to soak up the lemon juice. One batch, I cooked too al dente and it just didn't work.

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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2010
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This looks lovely! I have always loved the lemon & broccoli combination and this takes it to a new level. I think it might appeal to the broccoli-haters too! I will definately try it - love the low ww points.

  2. Alanna,
    My husband and I love broccoli with lemon. However, we have learned to add the lemon at serving because the lemon in with the broccoli while cooking turns the broccoli the most disgustingly shade of grey-green. How did you get around that? Is it the adding of the sugar that lets it stay green? Help!
    Huggs, Cait

  3. Well, duh!
    I guess I should have read on to the method first. You are not cooking the broccoli WITH the lemon!
    Well, at least now you and everyone else will know not cook broccoli WITH lemon. Thanks for the method and I will try this, how good can this pairing be!

  4. I have never had broccoli with lemon but your comments on making it several times in such a short period of time told me there was something more to this than one would suspect. There is, the lemon vinaigrette is fantastic and the whole combination was a nicely different than usual combination for us even though I actually had everything on hand. This is a keeper. Thanks!

  5. Kristen K ~ Wouldn't be something if lemon could convert the broccoli haters?!

    Cait ~ Yep, you nailed it, the broccoli is cooked well first, then the tops are dunked into the lemon juice.

    Tom & Kari ~ Aii, I do so love it when a recipe is so simple but inspiring that you want to and can make it NOW. So glad you've found a keeper!!

  6. Hello Allanna!

    What a georgous & tasty superb salad!!

    I so digg this!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMM,..lovely & fab food!

  7. You always do this to me ... I should have thought of this so long ago!!

  8. Very tasty! I took it to a potluck and it was well-received, although my broccoli turned brown. Any clues why?I did immerse it in ice water and let it drain before adding it to the lemon juice.
    I did make some substitutions. Chives from my garden for the green onions, honey for the sugar, sunflower shoots for the alfalafa sprouts (they were gorgeous at the Co-op and I couldn't pass them up), coconut milk for the cream, goat cheese for the feta. Okay, I guess that's a lot of subs, but hey, isn't that the fun of cooking!? Thanks, Nancy

  9. It sounds as though your dad and his love got a wonderful, healthy treat. What a great way to dress up broccoli!

  10. AnonymousMay 22, 2010

    I love the idea of mixing broccoli with a lemon flavor. I always just steam broccoli and eat it plain, so it's good to see other ways of trying it out. Otherwise I get tired of always eating the same things. (Although plain steamed broccoli is delicious!)


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna