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Marinated Broccoli & Zucchini Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing

The key to this recipe is in marinating the broccoli while still warm after briefly steaming it – the broccoli acts like a sponge absorbing flavours making for a great, flavor packed salad. This dish works just as well without the cashew dressing but I love the creamy element it ads to the dish.

Prep Time25 Minutes, plus 30mins resting
Cook Time5 minutes
Servings4 as a Substantial starter
  • Broccoli x 1 Medium sized head – cut into florets
  • Red Chili  x 1 cut in half, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • Garlic x 2 Cloves  – crushed
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 100ml
  • Fresh Lemon x 1
  • Mint – Small Handful – washed
  • Zucchini  x 2 Washed – made into ribbons using a hand peeler
  • Cherry Tomatoes – approx. 200g Washed and cut in half
  • Fresh Rocket leaves – approx. 125g / large bunch
  • Cashew Nuts/Cashew Nut Pieces – 100g
  • Tahina Paste – 1Tablespoon

Special Tools/Utensils:

  • Hand Blender
  • Frying Pan
  • Pot
  • Steamer Basket
  1. Start by lightly toasting the pieces in a frying pan over a low heat. Boil the kettle and cut all the other veggies as per the description above.
  2. Once toasted, add the Cashews to a small jug and add 200ml hot water from the kettle– allow to stand on the side and let rest for 20minutes.
  3. Wipe the pan clean and place it back on a very low heat – add ¾ of the olive oil, the chopped chilli and garlic. Slowly infuse for 2 minutes – do not let it burn – we are only looking for the flavour to infuse into the oil, then switch off the heat.
  4. In a pot, add the rest of the boiled water from the kettle and the steaming basket, steam the broccoli for approx. 2 minutes – it needs to still have a bit of crunch. Drain thoroughly and place in a plate.
  5. Pour over the infused olive oil, and add the juice of half the lemon. Season with salt and pepper and toss everything together thoroughly – allow to cool.
  6. Using a hand blender – blend the soaked Cashew pieces with the juice from the other half of the lemon with the Tahina paste and last 25ml of olive oil.
  7. Once cool, toss the marinated broccoli with the rocket, zucchini ribbons, mint leaves, cherry tomatoes and rocket – coat everything in the marinade from the broccoli, then place in a bowl.
  8. Drizzle the creamy cashew nut dressing over the top of the salad and serve.

Chef Profile

Stefan Marais

Stefan hails from Cape Town, South Africa and has been involved with food his whole life. He grew up in a small boutique hotel being run by his parents before heading to the UK where he started his training as a chef in Devon and London. Stefan, known as ‘Stef’ to friends and regulars alike returned to Cape Town and honed his skills at various establishments, ranging from simple bistros to fine dining restaurants. He eventually settled as the group executive chef for the ‘Societi’ group of restaurants and chef patron at ‘the Brasserie’. Seeking to broaden his horizons and share his passions, he started his own hospitality consultancy. Stef extended his service to India and headed to Goa, where he ran ‘Go with the Flow’ for three seasons while continuing with consulting work in the Middle East and Africa. Stefan relocated to Qatar in 2019, where he oversees the food operations at an organic farm while still offering broad based hospitality consulting services.. Stef has been honoured by the WWF for his contribution to promoting sustainable fishing practices and his time in Goa saw him walk away with two separate ‘Chef of the year’ accolades. Amongst others, Stef has had recipes and features in GQ, Cosmopolitan, and House & Leisure magazines while also appearing regularly on South African Television shows. He has a light touch and focuses on colourful, healthy dishes that are bold in flavor.