Sunday, July 25, 2010

Basic Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad with peanuts and cranberries
I LOVE broccoli. It's my favorite vegetable and perhaps my favorite food (closely followed by cheese) and, since I do love the luscious green flower so much, I make this salad fairly often. Like every time broccoli goes on sale. I'll buy two bunches, one for cooking and one for broccoli salad. Yummy, yummy stuff.

You'll need:

About a third to half a package of bacon (but you can use more, or less. Whatever's handy or needs used up)
Mayonnaise or salad dressing (low fat or regular) - I'll explain the amount below
2 T sugar
2 T vinegar* (I use cider vinegar usually since that's what I always have around)
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
1 bunch of broccoli (or 2 small ones if they're rubber-banded together) chopped, including tender part of stems
Nuts* (peanuts, cashews, etc) a handful or so
Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries, whatever you like) a handful or so

Cut your bacon into strips, about 1/4 in wide, ish, and fry them up until nice and brown and 'chewy-crisp'. You can also cook the slices and crumble if you want, but pre-slicing works better for me. Drain on paper towels.

Get a tablespoon from your silverware drawer (not a measuring tablespoon) and put two biggish, heaping spoonfuls of mayo/salad dressing into a med/large bowl. Add sugar and vinegar. Whisk to combine, should be smooth and a bit runny. Add onion, broccoli, nuts, fruit, and bacon. Mix, lifting up from the bottom and flipping (sort of like folding a batter) until sauce is well distributed. Serve immediately or chill an hour or two for additional tanginess!

*You can give this an 'asian flair' with rice wine vinegar, chow-mein noodles, and a dash or two of soy sauce. :) Make it more 'country' by adding sliced hard boiled egg. There are lots of options!

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