I served a fried chicken lunch at work after a hiring event last month and bought everything from the local grocery store including broccoli salad from the deli case to complement the chicken, potato salad, and rolls that came with the meal. It was no surprise to me the broccoli salad was an absolute hit, but I was shocked at how many people had never seen it before. After doing a little digging, I realized that this is a Midwest dish through and through and these Phoenix natives had never seen such a thing.
I’ve taken it for granted that this dish was so commonplace everywhere that I wouldn’t include it here. I guess I was wrong. Fast forward 3 weeks and I served the broccoli salad again to my coworkers this time as a side to pulled roast turkey and pulled beef brisket sandwiches and this time, I made the salad. I am very pleased to report that they liked my version even better than the grocery store deli version. I can’t say I’m surprised, but it still gives me a little shot in the arm and added confidence that I should share the recipe with you all.
Now the recipe for this salad was given to me as a part of a bridal shower gift. My lovely mother-in-law had each guest at the shower add a page to a recipe book that would become a gift to this bride-to-be. This is not a new idea nor was it 13 years ago when it was gifted to me but I still love the idea and when I cook from it, it makes me think of all the women who helped me get ready for wifedom. I have made some minor modifications, but the essence of the recipe has not changed and I’m sure you’ll love it!
1 bunch of broccoli – stalks and flowers cut into small bite sized pieces
⅓ cup diced red onion
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup dried roasted & salted pumpkin seeds (Sunflower seeds also work nicely.)
½ lbs fried and crumbled bacon
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
¼ – ⅓ cup sugar – balance the sugar with your vinegar. If using a sweeter vinegar use less sugar.
- Cut broccoli up into small bite sized pieces. Use the stems too, they’re delicious once you remove the woody “bark”. The inside is so tender and flavorful, there’s every reason to include this in the salad.
- Mix the dressing ingredients.
- In a large bowl combine all the salad ingredients and toss with the dressing.
That’s it! It’s so easy and delicious…Enjoy!
From my little corner of the world, thanks for reading and happy eating.
Caffeter, the Milkmaid