caraway and horseradish broccoli quinoa salad
caraway and horseradish broccoli quinoa salad
caraway + horseradish broccoli quinoa salad // via @thefirstmess

I am dead-set on a holiday decor extravaganza at my house this year. I’ve got some sweet garlands, birch trunks, old hydrangea blooms sprayed with gold spray paint, the lights, lanterns, a boxwood wreath, lime green osage oranges, grapevines, spruce cuttings, pine cones, and some jute rope and pretty ribbon to finish it off all nice. That’s just the outside stuff. It’s kind of soothing clipping branches and jamming them into frozen boxes of dirt in the name of merry-making. It’s definitely frivolous, but in the moment it feels extremely important. Also, having a hot drink in your comfy gear after–that feels important too.

I need the light-hearted distractions of twinkle lights, gold spray paint and bow-tying this time of year. It’s easy to make yourself feel trapped by all the things you absolutely have to accomplish within the span of one hectic month. Everyone is busy and everyone will tell you how busy they are at least 5 times in any given conversation. I am guilty of this.

I said this last week, but it bears repeating: I’m really going for calm and overall wellness in this mad season of life. I’m fixing up really nourishing eats, making the house smell good, trying to focus my eyes away from screens, and making small improvements to my daily motions–all in good time. If I go into 2015 with a focused, intentional whisper instead of a bang, I’ll be happy.

On that nourishing eats point, there’s this bowl of vegetables with caraway and fresh horseradish dressing. I do love a good and crunchy broccoli salad stashed away to mix with greens and a bit of avocado or something. The best ones always seem to have sweet and sour components. Some more broccoli inspiration with this pasta salad, this broccoli rabe and kale salad with cranberry dressing, and this ginger and sesame broccoli side dish.

This one is filled out with just a bit of cooked quinoa–enough to cling to the lightly cooked florets. I quick-pickle some shallots and add some crisp sweet apples to the mix as well. The dressing is a bit spicy and sharp with the horseradish and lemon, but grounded with the earthy anise-flavour of caraway. I’ve been adding just a bit of flaxseed oil to all of my dressings lately. I like the nutty taste.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American pals this week. Salad and hugs to you all :) xo

caraway and horseradish broccoli quinoa salad
caraway and horseradish broccoli quinoa salad
Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad with Horseradish Caraway Dressing & Apples - The First Mess
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Broccoli quinoa salad is hearty with whole grains and super flavourful with a horseradish dressing, crisp apples, and caraway seeds.
PREP TIME25 mins
COOK TIME25 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Laura Wright


  • Blender



  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (plus extra to finish the salad)
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil (or more olive oil)


  • 1 shallot, halved and shaved thin
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 apple, cored and diced small
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup Marcona almonds, chopped


  • In a blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. Check it for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and set aside.
  • Place the sliced shallots in a small bowl. Cover them with the ⅓ cup of apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the maple syrup. Let the mixture sit while you make the rest of the salad. You want the slices of shallot to be lightly softened.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with ½ cup of filtered water and a pinch of salt. Bring the quinoa to a boil over medium heat. Then lower to a simmer until all of the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Steam or boil the broccoli and cauliflower florets for 3-4 minutes or until slightly soft. Drain the florets and run cold water over them. Dry lightly with a paper towel and transfer to a larger serving bowl. To the bowl, add the cooked quinoa, diced apple, chopped dill, Marcona almonds, and extra caraway seeds.
  • Drain the shallots and add them to the bowl as well. Add as much dressing as you like and a good amount of salt and pepper. Toss to combine.


  • I steam the broccoli and cauliflower florets, but you could totally do this as a raw salad and bypass that extra step if you want.
  • I use a bit of flax oil in the dressing, but straight olive oil is also great!
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