Broccoli, Tomato, Feta and Hazelnut Salad – Avoca Cafe Cookbook

Aidan wasn’t so keen on the carrot and courgette salad so I thought I’d add a new salad for supper. I hadn’t been able to do any salads with nuts for lunch and Aidan loves broccoli so I decided to do the broccoli. feta, tomato and hazelnut salad from the Avoca Cafe Cookbook The Avoca book says it’s their most popular salad in the cafes. I was surprised before making it but even with a couple of other salads we ate a lot of this between 4 of us for supper. I’ve put the quantities from the Avoca book below but next time I’d do a bit less dressing and put in the rest of the pack of feta.

I made this salad again a couple of days later to use the rest of the feta and the one head of broccoli left in the fridge, I think this is destined to make a regular appearance on our table.

Ingredients

  • 110 g/4 oz. hazelnuts, shelled, with brown husk attached
  • 400 g/14 oz. (or one large head broccoli) broccoli florets (bite-sized)
  • 110 g/4 oz. good-quality feta cheese, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 225 g/8 oz. cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 200 ml/7 fl. oz French Dressing

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven 180 degrees C, gas mark 4.
  2. Toast the hazel nuts in the oven spread out on a baking sheet, for about 5-10 minutes. Be careful to check them at the end because they can burn very quickly. Once they are done, tip them into a clean tea towel and rub them vigourously to take off the skins (this step is entirely optional if you don’t mind the skins, but toasting the hazelnuts gives a creamier flavor than when added raw). Let the hazelnuts cool,
  3. Optional just barely blanch broccoli (I did this by pouring boiling water over broccoli, draining immediately and rinsing with cold water)
  4. Gently toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl until everything is coated with the dressing, season with pepper and serve.
  5. This salad keeps very well covered in the fridge for about three days, and is an excellent idea for a picnic
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