Identified under the species of Brassica oleracea in the Italica cultivar group, Broccoli is a plant (it is also associated with the cabbage tribe.) Eaten as a vegetable, Broccoli is the perfect salad ingredient, whether fried, baked, or blanched.
Broccoli salads can go with any main dish depending on the type of salad made with the Broccoli. Any kind of fish main dish or meat main dish goes well with a Broccoli salad. Vegetarian main dishes also go exceptionally well with Broccoli. Chicken main dishes also go with a Broccoli salad.
Did you know that there are three types of Broccoli (Calabrese, Sprouting, and Purple or Violet cauliflower)? Read on to discover how these distinct broccoli types in a salad can affect your main dish.
Know Your Ingredients
A person would never put garlic cloves into an ice cream sundae; the same concept applies when matching a main dish with a broccoli salad—knowing which flavors, ingredients, and spices work well together and which ones do not is crucial.
When searching for a main dish to go with a broccoli salad, the first thing is to examine your broccoli salad. What ingredients, flavors, and spices do you intend to use? For example, if you make a summer broccoli salad, you will be using summer ingredients and flavors such as olives, onions, mayonnaise, etc.
Your choice of the main dish, then, is required to match summer ingredients and flavors.
Another crucial ingredient to know is your Broccoli. Will you be adding Calabrese, Sprouting, and Purple or Violet cauliflower to your salad? Here is a list that distinguishes the most popular three diverse types of Broccolis:
- Calabrese – is just a fancy name for Broccoli. It has green heads that are large with multiple stalks.
- Sprouting – (also known as “poor man’s asparagus.)” has numerous stalks plus many heads. Sprouting Broccoli is white or purple. It is tenderer and sweeter than Calabrese.
- Purple or Violet cauliflower – is grown in North America or Europe. The head is shaped like cauliflower but contains a variety of flower buds. At times, it has a purple cast at the top of the flower head. Purple cauliflower also comes in diverse colors.
Distinct types of Broccolis have diverse flavors. The main dish is required to match the broccoli salad, and the most significant part of a Broccoli salad is the Broccoli (of course). Therefore, Sprouting Broccoli will add sweetness to your salad while Calabrese will not.
If your Broccoli salad is sweet, then it is recommended that your main dish should also be sweet. You can also choose a non-sweet main to balance the flavors. If your Broccoli salad is not sweet, then it is recommended that your main dish should also be not sweet. You can also choose a sweet main to balance the flavors.
Meat Main Dishes
Depending on the Broccoli salad you will be using, main meat dishes are a great paired option. I have provided a list of sweet and non-sweet main meat dishes to pair with your Broccoli salad.
Sweet Main Meat Dishes:
- Honey glazed beef cubes
- Sweet caramelized pork cubes
- Sweet minced curry
Non-Sweet Main Meat Dishes:
- Roast beef (cold or warm)
- Beef casserole
- Lamb chops
- Sloppy Joes
- Steak and mushroom pie
Fish Main Dishes
With various distinct types of fish in the ocean, chefs can explore and create multiple exciting and creative fish main dishes. Below is a list of sweet and non-sweet fish main dishes to pair with your Broccoli salad
Sweet Main Fish Dishes:
- Asian style Sweet and sour fish cubes
- Honey glazed prawns
- Sweet and sour fish fillet stir fry
- Anything Sherry flavored
Non-Sweet Main Fish Dishes:
- Salmon strips
- Fried/grilled hake
- Fried/grilled calamari tubes and squid heads
- Lemon flavored Sole
- Fish fingers
- Fish burger
- Crab cakes
Vegetarian Main Dishes
Vegetarian foods, in my opinion, are the most creative and exciting foods to cook. Creating main dishes for a vegetarian palate calls for a chef who is not afraid to explore unique meals in the culinary world. With various vegetarian meal options to pair your Broccoli salad with, below is my list of top sweet and non-sweet choices.
Sweet Main Vegetarian Dishes:
- Sweet potato bake/ any main dish made from sweet potato
- Sweet and sour tofu cubes
- Honey glazed tofu cubes
Non-Sweet Main Vegetarian Dishes:
- Meatless pasta with/without sauce
- Vegetable bakes
- Vegetable burgers
- Falafels, pita bread, and hummus
- Chickpea muffins
- Spinach pies
Main Chicken Dishes
Chicken is a resourceful ingredient to keep in your freezer/fridge. From healthy meals to unhealthy meals, main chicken dishes are a perfect option to pair with a Broccoli salad. Below is my list of main chicken dishes.
Sweet Chicken Dishes:
- Pineapple and peppers mixed with chicken cubes
- Honey glazed/sweet and sour glazed chicken cubes/breasts/strips
- Simply add chicken cubes into your sweet broccoli salad
Non-Sweet Chicken Dishes:
- Roast chicken
- Lemon butter chicken breast
- Chicken strips
- Chicken fried rice
- Chicken Schnitzel
- Chicken pies
Desserts That Go With Broccoli Salads
Believe it or not, there is also an assortment of desserts that can be eaten as a main dish. A couple of these desserts you can pair with Broccoli salads. Desserts for dinner! Your children will love you for this! All desserts are sweet. Therefore, this list is all the sweet main dishes that can go with a Broccoli salad.
- Maple Bacon wrapped dates
- Brown sugar roasted sweet potatoes
- Dessert pizza
- Maple roasted butter squash
Your options are endless when choosing the perfect main dish to go with your Broccoli salad. It all depends on what ingredients, spices, and flavors that your Broccoli salad will contain. The next major contributing factor is, of course, the Broccoli.
Decide between the textures and flavors between the distinct types of Broccoli that you plan on using inside your Broccoli salad.
10 Dessert Recipes You can Eat for Dinner (spoonuniversity.com)