Broccoli and mushroom salad is a staple of low-fat diets. What makes this one good is its thyme- and garlic-scented vinaigrette made with balsamic vinegar and only 1 tablespoon olive oil.
You'll save yourself a bit of work if you buy broccoli crowns, which are the tops of the broccoli with the stems removed.
As the salad sits, juices will come out of the mushrooms, so stir every once in a while as it marinates.
Toasted sesame seeds are sprinkled over the salad in place of walnuts, which are higher in fat. Because you use less, you further cut fat. For a salad that serves 10, you might need a half cup of walnuts--that's 38 grams of fat--but 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds adds just 1 gram of fat.
If you want to add protein and make this a main-course salad, toss in a little cubed tofu.
1/2 pound broccoli crowns, about 2 crowns
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons minced thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more if needed
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Break broccoli crowns apart and cut into florets. Steam broccoli in steamer or pot with about 1/2 inch of water until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from steamer and plunge into ice water to chill, then drain.
Toss sliced mushrooms with steamed broccoli to combine.
Vigorously stir together balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, thyme, garlic, green onions and salt.
Pour vinaigrette over vegetables and toss to coat. Taste and add additional salt, if needed, and black pepper to taste.
Let stand 30 minutes for flavors to blend, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with sesame seeds just before serving.
10 (1/2-cup) servings. Each serving:
40 calories; 127 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 5 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.68 gram fiber.
* Cyclamen studios pottery bowl from Freehand, Los Angeles.