As I was saying in my last post, cookout season has arrived. And thus far the humidity around here hasn’t reached its usual god-awful Virginia levels, so it is actually pleasant to be outside. But I know that heat and humidity is lurking just right around the corner. Soon I won’t want to be outside and definitely won’t want to be hovering over a hot stove. So I thought I’d share a really easy, summer time salad recipe today. You don’t need to go anywhere near a stove or oven to whip this dish together. Served cold and always refreshing, Broccoli Salad is in heavy rotation in this household all summer!
My Mom originally gave me this recipe. But it wasn’t something we had for dinner when I was a kid. I don’t think she came across this one herself until I was off to college. When I was growing up the only raw vegetable dish I remember seeing was coleslaw. I guess I occasionally saw someone who was dieting eating raw carrots and celery sticks, but generally when vegetables were served for dinner, they were boiled until they were mushy. Now I know there are plenty of folks who love mushy vegetables and more power to them. I prefer a little texture to my vegetables. Perhaps it is a generational thing as most of the friends I have around my age prefer steamed veggies but say they remember mostly having mushy veggies served to them as kids. I have a great story about my Granddad and this Broccoli Salad along those lines. Many years ago I made a big bowl of this salad and took it to some gathering at my Mom’s house. My Granddad was chatting with my brother and said ‘ I don’t know who made this Broccoli dish, but I think they didn’t cook it quite long enough.” My brother just smiled and said, “Yes, it is a bit crunchy alright.”
This salad is very easy to prepare. There is a bit of chopping involved, but since I got a food processor that really has not been an issue. I will say though that you have to be careful not to process the broccoli too much. You don’t want a broccoli paste, so just give it a few quick pulses. Now I know I said that you don’t have to turn on your stove to make this, but you may be thinking “hey…there’s bacon in here.” That’s true. I usually buy a bag of those real bacon bits and throw those in. Of course, you are welcome to fry up some bacon if you like. I just wanted you to know that there is a bit of a time-saving cheaters option that can be done here. And even though this salad doesn’t take long to prepare, folks will go wild for it! That broccoli is so fresh and crispy and the dressing is a lovely sweet and tangy combination. And, come on… it has bacon and cheese in it! You know it will be nothing short of addictive. A great salad to take to parties, pot lucks, picnics or for just a regular week night dinner. Give it a try!
recipe from: My Mom
yield: 6-8 servings
- 3-4 crowns broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 10-12 slices bacon, crumbled (about 3/4 cup of crumbled bacon)
For the dressing:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Chop Broccoli (either in food processor, or old-fashioned way). Place in large bowl. Add cheese, onion and crumbled bacon. Set aside.
In small bowl whisk together mayo, sugar and vinegar until smooth.
Pour dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir until thoroughly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.