Need an easy, low carb, totally delicious side dish? This southwestern broccoli salad is jam packed with that smoky, spicy flavor everyone loves! Broccoli, red onion, bacon, pecans, fire roasted poblano, and cheese are lightly coated with a mayonnaise based dressing flavored with salsa verde and cumin. Just right with any grilled meat and so good your high carb addicted friends with ask for the recipe.
For this recipe you’ll need: fresh broccoli, red onion, bacon, poblano pepper, cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro, mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, salsa verde, monkfruit or other sugar free sweetener, pecans, salt, pepper
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I honestly don’t know when broccoli salad came into my life. I am pretty sure it must have been a family reunion because it seems like all of the best recipes come from those hastily copied recipes written on paper napkins by my mother while one of her sisters or nieces or sisters-in-law tried to recite the ingredients from memory. It would have been a Midwestern thing because Mom was from Michigan and everything she made can be traced back to those roots. Living in Texas nearly all of my life I’ve built upon those family recipes and juxtaposed them with my love of all things Tex-Mex and southwestern.
Like this particular broccoli salad. That old, faded recipe was a sweeter version with grapes and all kinds of things that drive the carbs up to a total that could potentially rival the national debt. I’ve lightened it up, removed the high carb ingredients, and added a Texas twist to the whole thing making it spicy, smoky, and full of the warm flavors that I love. Like many salad this low carb southwestern broccoli salad will develop flavor as it sits. Try to make it at least a couple of hours before you plan on serving it.
When I fire roasted the poblano peppers I did it over my gas stove and I cut the time to about 5 minutes because I wanted the peppers to have the smoky fire-roasted flavor but I didn’t want them to be cooked and soft. Cutting the time short is kind of the best of both worlds for this recipe — the pepper does have the flavor but it maintains most of the crisp texture, too.
How to Fire Roast a Poblano Pepper
Fire roasting poblano peppers makes them more mellow and brings out a deeper flavor. It’s super easy to do over your gas stove or in the oven.
For Gas Stove
- Pierce the pepper on the end with a fork.
- Lay it over the open flame of the stove.
- Roast for 10 minutes, turning frequently, until the skin is wrinkled and blackened.
- Preheat the oven to 500F
- Place peppers on a baking sheet.
- Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, turning frequently, until the skin of the peppers is wrinkled and blackened.
Once the peppers are blackened seal them in a plastic bag for 15 minutes to “sweat”. After that you just gently rub the skins off and use the peppers as directed in your recipe. Easy, right?
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Salsa verde is a green salsa made with tomatillos and chiles. It’s spicy and tangy with an almost citrus flavor. Herdez is normally the salsa verde I prefer. If you can’t find fresh poblanos locally you might try these canned fire roasted poblano slices — you won’t need to do a thing except add them to your dish. I used Monkfruit in the Raw as the sweetener in this recipe. It balanced the tangy flavors nicely.
Southwestern Broccoli Salad
- 1 poblano pepper fire roasted until crisp tender, cleaned, and diced
- ½ pound bacon cooked until crisp, fat reserved
- ½ pound raw broccoli chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 bunch cilantro about 1 cup, chopped
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons salsa verde
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 to 2 packets monkfruit or to taste or desired sweetener
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the bacon, broccoli, cilantro, onion, pecans, and cheddar to a large mixing bowl.
- Toss gently to mix well.
- Add all ingredients except salt and pepper to a mixing bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the reserved bacon grease.
- Stir to blend.
- Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Pour over the broccoli mixture and blend gently.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or two.
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