I suppose it is a bit presumptuous of me to share this recipe a few months ahead of broccoli season, but — trust me — you'll want this recipe in hand when your kitchen overflows with green florets later this summer.
During broccoli season, we eat broccoli at nearly every meal, and it's typically served in one of two ways: either simply steamed or as this broccoli salad, which is easy, quick, tangy, creamy, and sweet. The real surprise highlight of this salad is the inclusion of red onion. Somehow it just makes the other flavors sing.
The optional avocado is also a surprisingly tasty addition. I like to use it when I know the salad will be sitting out for several hours (say at a midsummer potluck picnic) and I prefer to avoid mayonnaise. Avocado, bacon, and red onion were just meant to be together, don't you think? I still prefer the mayo as an everyday option, but try it with the avocado at least once. 🙂
You may notice that I've marked raisins and sunflower seeds optional. For some, this may seem like broccoli salad heresy, but personally, I just don't like raisins and seeds combined with broccoli, so I've left them out. Feel free to add them if you so desire.
And come to think of of it, I haven't tried it, but I bet this salad would be a knockout with other members of the brassica family, too. Maybe this is a way to get your family to try kohlrabi or Brussels sprouts? Hmmm… I think I'm going to have to try that myself.
From my table to yours, may you enjoy this recipe all summer long! 🙂
Broccoli Bacon Salad
- 1 large head broccoli, washed and broken into florets (small florets if left raw, slightly larger florets if you're steaming them first)
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise OR mashed avocado (see how to make your own mayonnaise)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar OR raw apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons minimally-refined sugar OR raw honey (be sure it's thin enough to mix well rather than clump into a ball)
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced paper thin then very coarsely chopped
- a handful of raisins (optional)
- a handful of sunflower seeds (optional)
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Wash the broccoli and break the stems into florets. If you'd like to leave them raw, make the florets fairly small, but if you'd like to steam them, which is my personal preference, break them up in slightly larger florets. Save the stems for broccoli slaw, soup, or smoothies. If steaming, place in a steamer basket over boiling water until bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Place in a colander and leave to drain while you prepare the rest of the salad. The florets should be drained as well as possible.
Prepare the bacon by chopping it into 1- to 2-inch strips, then fry over medium or medium-high heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and let sit until cool, then crumble. Set aside. (Hint: I typically have our butcher wrap our bacon in 1 pound packages, so I always fry up the entire pound and then either freeze the remaining 1/2 pound for future meals or offer it on the table as extra topping for the salad. 🙂 )
To make the dressing, combine the mayonnaise or avocado, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine well. Be sure the mixture is very smooth. Add the broccoli florets, as well as raisins and sunflower seeds (if using), then toss to combine. Top with the chopped onion and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately and enjoy thoroughly.
Enjoy! What do you make a lot during broccoli season?
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