Curried Broccoli Salad (from Soul Cookbook)


Soul by Todd Richards was a winter acquisition from Redbery bookstore in Cable, WI—one of those awesome small independent bookstores that we need to keep alive. It was hard to resist the warming menus and ingredient lists when it was 20 below outside.

Tangent story–my friend went on a for-hire fishing boat in Florida to escape the winter and commented to the captain that the temperature in their northern home was 15 below. The captain said, “Below what?”    :-) 


Todd Richards is an Atlanta chef coming into his own with numerous eatery ventures and twice a James Beard nominee. He grew up in Chicago, often taking trips with his family to visit relatives in Arkansas where he was profoundly shaped by both the fresh-ingredient-real-food from his aunt and the more visual and overt social and racial divisions of the South. His writings and recipes of this autobiographical cookbook incorporate the many layers of his life. In interviews he talks about his intentions to take back the stereotypes of African American cooking and to infuse them with his own energy and fusion style, honoring but not restricted by the classic traditions of soul cooking. He writes, “My ancestors were slaves. Like our grits, they ate fufu, like our air dried meats they made biltong, and, as we do, they used salt and vinegar as a means of preservation. Those intersections weave the fabric that forms the motley quilt of Southern cuisine–and much of American cuisine—so I am called to celebrate and share it….Soul food is the original cuisine of the South, born from an involuntary collision of cultures.” 


Check out the 11 Cookbooks that Inspired Todd, there’s some great reading in this list.



Photo above of the Curried Broccoli Salad; Oxtails with Boiled Peanut Stew; and Crispy Plantains and Chocolate Covered Bacon with Peanut Sauce.

Photo below of Bacon, Collard and Fried Egg Sandwich; Oysters and Cucumber Mignonette; Heirloom Tomato Salad; and Strawberries with Champagne Aspic, Whipped Cream, and Honey.



Some of the many recipes from Soul that caught my eye:

  • Broiled Lake Perch and Tomato Aspic in Lettuce Wraps
  • Cucumber Soup with Sun-Dried Tomato Relish
  • Smoked Catfish Dip with Parmesan Tuiles
  • Cantaloupe Soup with Chorizo Relish and Black-Pepper-and-Honey Whipped Goat Cheese
  • Okra, Andouille and Crab Fritters
  • Collard Green Butter
  • Sweet Tea Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast with Pickled Beet Chutney



I like his addition of crystalized ginger in the mix–it’s the sweetness of craisins or raisins but with the zing and pow of ginger that goes well with curry and spice. I can see eating this at a picnic on a warm summer’s day!




Curried Broccoli Salad (a la Soul and slightly adapted by me)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes


Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil, add:

1 Tablespoon Salt

Have ice water ready to chill the broccoli after blanching. 

Remove the stems from:

3 heads broccoli

Cut broccoli florets into pieces. 

Peel the stems with a peeler or knife and cut into cubes.

When water boils use a steamer basket or colander to lower the broccoli florets into the water to blanch for 1-2 minutes, remove and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. Blanch the cubed stems 2-4 minutes and transfer to the ice water. 

Transfer broccoli to a colander and shake well to shed water trapped in the florets. Let sit to drain and shake again a few times. If still holding water move to a cookie sheet to let the florets dry out. 



Whisk together

1 cup Mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Curry Powder

1/2 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (or other chili sauce)

2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Sugar


Toss the drained broccoli florets and cubed stems with the dressing. 

Taste and adjust. 

Sprinkle with:

1 Tablespoon Crystalized Ginger

2-4 Tablespoons Chopped Peanuts

1 Jalapeño, thinly sliced or minced

1 Lime—or serve lime wedges alongside





Another from Soul



“Walls turned sideways are bridges.”


Angela Davis







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