Festive Broccoli Salad


Confession: I am totally addicted to this salad. I’ve been eating it a lot lately, testing to see which ingredient combo I like best.  It’s so good I can’t stop eating it, just as well it’s a healthy Broccoli Salad.

So this is how it went down (literally). I made it for lunch which is when I have the best light for the photographs (and just as a side note, all pictures are taken in natural light without any Photoshop whatsoever) .

Then I had some more for dinner with some grilled chicken. And then some more in a sandwich the next day, the rest disappeared so that wasn’t me, I’m a little disappointed about that, someone could have given me a heads up, like…”salads almost gone”…

But no, I had to find out the hard way, anyway…moving on.

Basically what I am trying to tell you that it might be wise to make double to avoid disappointment, you’ll thank me later.

This recipe is for four as a side dish or two for lunch and it comes together in a flash.

It’s really simple, start by soaking the cranberries in warm water. They plumb up nicely like this but still keep that great chewy texture they have.

Then you caramelize the pecan nuts which are a divine mini recipe by itself. I dare you not to eat any while making these.

As these cool, you steam the broccoli florets for just 3 minutes in the microwave. I have one of these microwave steamers that I just couldn’t live without. You rinse them under cold water and drain.

The rest of the ingredients are then added and tossed with the delicious simple dressing.

⏰ Prep time : 15 minutes

🍝 Cooking time : 15 minutes

🍴 Serves : 4



  • 1 large head of Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils,  reserve some to scatter on top before serving
  • 4 oz. chopped cooked ham
  • 4 oz. grated aged cheddar, coarsely grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley, (1 tbsp. goes in and the other on top)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • a good squeeze of lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp. milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper



  1. Start by soaking the cranberries in warm water.
  2. Then heat a small pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the nuts, salt and the tablespoon of sugar.
  3. Keep stirring until sugar is caramelizing and the nuts are golden.
  4. Transfer to a plate lined with a piece of parchment paper and make sure to separate the nuts or they will form clusters.
  5. Steam the broccoli florets for three minutes, rinse under cold water and drain very well.
  6. For the dressing mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, lime juice, sugar and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Drain the cranberries and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  8. Toss all the remaining ingredients over the broccoli and mix carefully.
  9. Add the dressing and toss again.
  10. Place all on top of some salad leafs on a big platter to serve.
  11. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and some parsley.




If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

…and remember sharing is fun!






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