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Honey-Mustard Broccoli & Apples with Pine Nuts

A seemingly simple recipe. Honey-mustard, broccoli, apples. Nothing revolutionary. Or so I thought until I took my first bite of this blow-your-socks-off veggie dish. What I failed to realize on my prejudiced analysis of the recipe was how sponge-like broccoli crowns are: perfect little mops for any and all saucey substance. 

Fishing through Mollie Katzen’s The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without, (pictured on the left) with broccoli in hand and striving for a quick side-dish, I settled on this recipe. After devouring the whole bowl of this in two days, I am convinced Katzen really is the Queen of Vegetables (as if I should have had doubts?) I first chopped the broccoli, and saved the stems for some other dish. I’ve been adding them to soups and salads, but Katzen also has a pickled broccoli stem recipe in this book I may need to get on. 

You can also see pictured here my kick-ass KitchenAid knife. This is one of the sharpest, most balanced knives I have ever used, and it only cost me 10 bucks at TJ Maxx. Yes, I’m sure you just did a double take. KitchenAid isn’t even known for having good knives! But really. If you ever see one of these at TJ’s or Marshall’s, pick it up. I haven’t seen any on my latest trips, so maybe other people are catching onto their excellence.

So, here’s where Mollie gets crafty: she slices the red onions, lines the colander with them, and then pours the boiled broccoli and the boiling water overtop (I swear there are red onions in the bottom of that colander!). This step softens the onions and takes out their astringent bite, leaving them sweeter, but still crisp. 

A honey mustard vinaigrette is made in the bottom of a large bowl. I tweaked the dressing recipe just a tad, using a bit less oil with success.

I also thought this dish could use a bit of crunch, and added some toasted pine nuts. Super buttery and aromatic, they added a nice contrast to the softer broccoli. However, their tiny size did make them susceptible to falling to the bottom of the bowl. Sliced, toasted almonds may be a better choice if you are concerned about this.

This was enjoyed as a side dish to baked potatoes stuffed with buffalo chickpeas + blue cheese, which were the bomb. It was quite the dinner. The leftover broccoli was a great lunch the next day, mixed with some blue cheese, spinach, and protein of choice (me with chickpeas, the boyfriend with chicken). Om nom nom.

Honey-Mustard Broccoli & Apples with Pine Nuts
Adapted from Mollie Katzen
Serves 4


  • 1 large bunch broccoli
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium apple, cut in half, cored, and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds
  • pepper, to taste
  • blue cheese, optional
  1. Cut the stems off of the broccoli and set aside for another use. Cut the broccoli into mouth-size pieces. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and boil for 3 minutes, or until bright green.
  2. Set a colander in the sink. Line with red onion slices. Pour the broccoli and boiling water over the onions in the colander. Drain and shake off any excess water.
  3. Make vinaigrette in bottom of a large bowl: mix together vinegar, mustard, garlic, and salt with a whisk. Then add in honey and olive oil. Whisk briskly until emulsified.Dump in broccoli, onion, apple and coat with the dressing.
  4. If your nuts are not already toasted, heat a frying pan to medium-high and add nuts. They should be ready in 3-4 minutes. Check often! Add nuts, pepper, and optional cheese to the broccoli mixture. Devour!
Note: This dish is just as good the next day, straight from the fridge. Double-batch, anyone?

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