Earlier this week I had some lady friends over for dinner. I enjoy cooking for other people, but it’s definitely a bit of a challenge to make things that will please all taste preferences.

If you're over the age of five, there's a good chance you're alright with broccoli and everyone loves the flavor of leeks, even if they've never technically purchased one. So we're off to a good start with this one...

You can only cram so much on the grill, so these veggies are fit for the oven. If the chopping is done before hand, this salad requires little time and attention while you are finishing the rest of your meal. As far as entertaining goes, I like to make things that I can prepare as much as possible ahead of time, so I don't have to leave friends to work. Not only was this big bowl of green-ness a crowd pleaser, but it saves well, so you can throw in a protein of choice and take it for lunch. I had enough leftover to fill a family size tupperware and ate the entire thing the following day. True story, I am a known veggie-binger.

I improved the original with a bit of good quality feta cheese. It's pretty salty, so no need to add salt elsewhere. I'll say it again, using good ingredients yields a better end product. I don’t consider myself a brand snob, but sometimes the generic grocery store cheese will not suffice. And neither will their yogurt, salad dressing, pesto or dark chocolate. or ice cream. OK...only sometimes a brand snob.

1 lb. Broccolini
1 lb. Broccoli
1 Lemon, zest and juice
1 Large Leek
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Black Pepper
3 Cloves Garlic
6 oz. (about 3 Cups) Fresh Spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped
3/4 Cup Sliced Almonds, toasted
1/2 Cup Feta Cheese emeraldsalad_051

Oven set to 475'

1. Cut the broccoli and broccolini into roughly two inch chunks, on a bias. Using the white and light green parts of the leek, slice length wise and rinse out the dirt. Slice thin. Toss the veggies with the olive oil, pepper and lemon zest.
2. Slice the garlic cloves as thin as possible, no mincing. Add the broccoli mix to a large roasting pan. You don't want to cram them in a dish as they will end up steaming in their own moisture. Give them space. Sprinkle the garlic slices on top so they feel the direct heat in the oven.
3. At this point, you could cover and wait until you're getting ready to eat. Or, pop that pan on the top rack of the oven for 12 minutes.
4. Pull out the baking pan, and toss in the spinach, almonds, parsley and lemon juice. Toss in the pan so the heat wilts the spinach and the dressing it's created, distributes. Put in your serving dish and crumble the feta cheese on top.

* This may seem like a lot of parsley, but it's a lot of broccoli. I tend to make things how I like them, use less if you're not partial to the parsley kick. You and Hugh can be friends.emeraldsalad_08

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Reader Comments (31)

sounds absolutely lovely! I have to agree with you on the brand snob thing, sometimes it's just not the same. I don't usually buy all organic because it can be pretty expensive, but I do surprisingly notice a taste difference with organic lettuce/greens and organic dairy. It's just so much better with a much better quality and taste to me. And as always the pictures are amazing, any tips on lighting? I'm needing to work on that since we don't get the best natural light. Have a great weekend!

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEatingRD

oh and I LOVE leeks, they give such a wonderful flavor, almost licorice like? I make a pot pie with them and it makes the dish!

June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEatingRD

I absolutely love your food photography. Very clean, earthy looking, very intimate, like you're letting us enter your kitchen. Nice!

I love roasted vegetable salads, especially lemony ones with feta.

Your pictures are amazing. Thanks for a delicious new blog.

June 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

You've even managed to make garlic look pretty! :-) I love that pic!

June 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commentererin @ dessert girl

[...] By Tara Parker-Pope wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWhat I can promise is that here, you will find recipes that ALWAYS use local ingredients, and organic when found affordable. I don’t really measure, so the recipes are usually educated guesses that should work for you. … [...]

what epic photos! food has never looked so pretty.

June 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlaura

this dish looks so healthy, balanced in textures and flavors and most of all, delicious!

June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterleela

Absolutely scrumptious looking and I'm glad I found your blog!

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteralexandria

YUM, thanks for posting this, I always love new ideas for salads. This looks absolutely amazing. Can't wait to try it out.

Keep em coming!

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Walker

What a beautiful site you have here. That last photograph I can practically smell! I look forward to seeing more.

July 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJess

you managed to outdo yourself yet again. thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures and such a delicious recipe. can't wait to try it out!

July 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkristina guilbeau

another keeper!!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Stride

I made a version of this salad last week and it was really good. I spaced out while the broccoli and vegetables were roasting though, so while it was good right as I tossed the dressing thing wilted quickly. I'll have to follow the recipe more closely next time.

By the way, all that parsley was perfect.

July 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Your salad looks sweet! I love broccolinis ;)

July 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarion

haha veggie-binger. still eating bagfulls of edamame or sugar snap peas for lunch?

July 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Coon


June 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrobin

[...] Emerald Salad Another big hit! I substituted hazelnuts for the almonds because Fred is allergic to almond. The hazelnuts were great.) [...]

I just have one word for this salad- AMAZING! My fiance and I made this with dinner last weekend, and we are both crazy about it. I could literally eat this every day!

January 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa B.

Very nice salad

October 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSigfrid Massawe

[...] Emerald Salad – The linked recipe includes better instructions and prettier pictures than I’d ever create. I will, however, suggest sprinkling a little red pepper flake on the finished product to give it an extra layer of flavor. [...]

[...] Emerald Salad from Sprouted Kitchen made a huge dish of wholesome, relatively unadorned vegetables. We loved the recipe, and I also love the simple concept of combining different veggies together and complementing them with just a few flavors. I left out the cheese, but I bet it would add a delicious element. I don’t have a picture, but who needs mine when you have Sara and Hugh’s?! [...]

February 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRecipe Roundup « Granola

I discovered this recipe on Pinterest and made it for my lover and I last night and can I just say...WOW! Upon looking at his plate the lover's immediate reaction was "where's the beef?" but after the first bite, we were hooked. This is going in the regular rotation FO SHO. I love your photos, your adorable hubby, and most of all...your recipes. I have officially "pinned" about 10 more and can't wait to try them all! Glad you threw in a couple with fish so the lover stays on board.

April 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonica Possiel

Just stumbled upon your blog and this recipe and I'm dying to try it. I do however have some asparagus I need to use. Thoughts on adding/subbing it for some of the broccoli?

PS your photos and presentation are incredible and I find your recipes to be gourmet yet accessible. Bravo!

June 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCait

@cait - yes! Throw the asparagus in, sounds great! The super thin stalks will overcook, so I'm hoping you have average sized ones. Let me know!

June 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterSara

I cooked this for my parents and sister they absolutely loved it. at mum's request i am cooking it for our big christmas lunch with all the family. Thank you

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersophie

I made this last night for dinner, but used swiss chard (which I had lying around) instead of the spinach. So quick and delicious. Definitely a keeper!

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

Found myself with an abundance of broccoli that needed to be used up and decided to try this recipe. It was amazingly delicious! It was my first time cooking with leeks -- I've been missing out for sure! I skipped the broccolini and just doubled the broccoli. That worked fine. I also used two roasting pans because I was worried about crowding the veggies. I maybe would have added even more spinach, since it wilts nicely. I am on a feta kick lately, so that was the cherry on top. Can't wait to try more of your recipes! Thanks!

March 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaley

This was awesome! I needed about five more minutes of roasting, and salt(i left out the cheese) but would probably salt anyway for personal taste. The wilted spinach added a nice textural contrast!

February 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkrista

I know this was posted a long time ago, but I cooked it for Easter, and again, with adaptations to make it a standalone meal, for my packed lunches this week ( With the addition of pine nuts and quinoa, and subbing in of purple sprouting broccoli (my favourite) it was truly delectable. I love your musings on how to cook and entertain at the same time!

April 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnna@Lunchlife

I've been on a big health kick lately- low carbs and sugar - and trying lots of salads. This has been BY FAR my favorite; its hearty, satisfying, flavorful, and the creaminess of the feta with the crunch of the almonds makes me feel like I'm cheating. This salad has become an easy go-to in my home and my meat-eating BF loves it also :) thank you for an amazing recipe (and for the looser fitting jeans!)

June 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

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