This morning, my lady and I went for a walk in a nearby park. Partly because the quiet comfort of a Sunday morning walk is a perfect way to recharge after a busy weekend and week in general. I also had a secondary reason for wanting to go: the park has several hazelnut trees that are bursting with seasonal hazelnuts. There’s nothing like standing under a hazelnut tree and hearing them softly fall to the ground with a soft crunch on a nearby leaf or gently bouncing off of the earth.
As I gathered hazelnuts, my lady enjoyed taking pictures of the local wildlife: various birds and frolicking squirrels. As we approached one hazelnut tree, I didn’t have the heart to take any fallen hazelnuts. I usually leave plenty for the squirrels, but this little guy did the whole “puppy dog eye” routine and I just couldn’t…
…plus his little mouthful was too adorable!
Since I only grabbed a few handfuls of hazelnuts (there’s also more yet to ripen and fall), I decided that I wanted to make a dressing with the hazelnuts and out of respect for the local wildlife, and add some flax seeds to add more nutty flavour without making cute little creatures short for the winter!
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad with Toasted Hazelnut Flax Tahini Dressing
For the Toasted Hazelnut Flax Tahini Dressing:
2 Tbsp hazelnuts, measure after removing the shells, toasted in a dry pan over medium high heat for 4-5 minutes
2 Tbsp flax seeds, toasted in a dry pan over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes
1 tsp honey
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 cup cold pressed canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and purée until nearly smooth. The odd chunk is okay. Set aside.
For the Pickled Red Onions:
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and salt. Add the onions and toss with the brine. Allow to pickle for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
For the salad
1 cup broccoli florets, steamed for 12-15 minutes, chilled in ice water
1 cup cauliflower florets, steamed for 12-15 minutes, chilled in ice water
Reserved Toasted Hazelnut Flax Tahini Dressing
Reserved Pickled Red Onions
1 tsp toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped, for garnish
Divide the steamed broccoli and cauliflower over two plates. Drizzle the Toasted Hazelnut Flax Tahini Dressing liberally over both plates and sprinkle lightly with the Pickled Red Onions. Garnish lightly with chopped, toasted hazelnuts. Serves 2.