One of my favorite summer salads (well all year round really) is Broccoli Salad! It is the perfect combination of salty, sweet, crunchy, and fresh! Exactly everything you want in a salad! Add to that the fact that it is filled with one of my favorite vegetables and BACON, well, that spells WINNER any way you cut it!
I could seriously eat this delicious Broccoli Salad for breakfast, lunch, and supper every day of the week and never get tired of it. With its sweet and tangy dressing, the crunch and colour of that beautiful broccoli, the saltiness of the bacon, the zip of the red onion and those moreish toasty cashew nuts, this delicious fresh salad is sure to please your family and friends. I have been making it for years in one variation or another and in all honesty, I never get tired of it. Never. There are many versions of this simple and delicious salad. This is mine.
Be prepared to fall in love.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE BROCCOLI SALAD
This short list of ingredients is filled with loads of colour and flavours, both sweet and savoury.
|INGREDIENTS For the special sauce:|
|1 pound bacon|
|1 cup good quality mayonnaise|
|2 tsp apple cider vinegar|
|½ cup white sugar|
|2 pounds fresh broccoli cut into florets|
|1 cup roasted cashew nuts|
|¼ of a medium red onion, peeled and finely minced|
HINTS AND TIPS FOR MAKING BROCCOLI SALAD
Follow my hints and tips to make the best broccoli salad ever!
- Read through the recipe several times to familiarise yourself with any ingredients or equipment you might need. This also gives you the opportunity to go to the shops to pick up anything you might need ahead of time.
- Assemble all of your ingredients and tools in one place before you start. This simple step helps to prevent you from leaving out anything integral to the recipe by accident.
- When you are making your dressing, stir everything together until the sugar completely dissolves.
- Dice your onion really fine. Nobody wants to bite down on a large piece of onion.
- If you are like me and you struggle with being able to eat raw broccoli, (I have diverticulitis and it plays havoc with my digestion) you can blanche the florets in boiling water for two minutes. (No longer.) Immediately drain and rinse in ice-cold water to prevent it from cooking longer and drain well. Not only does this make the broccoli more digestible but it also gives it a beautiful fresh green color!
- Chop your broccoli into smaller bite-sized pieces. Nobody should have to cut their salad with a knife and a fork.
- Do not add the roasted cashews until you are ready to serve the salad.
- Use a good quality mayonnaise. If you are not fond of mayonnaise, you can substitute thick plain Greek Yogurt in its place.
- You can cook your bacon ahead of time. Wrap and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. If you wish you can use turkey bacon.
- Don’t skip the chill time in the refrigerator. This helps to blend and mellow the flavors perfectly.
- Bring to room temperature before serving.
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI SALAD
Chop the onion, making sure you have it very finely diced. I recommend a quarter inch dice. Peel your onion, cut in half lengthwise and then cut one half in half lengthwise. (Wrap and refrigerate the remaining onion for another purpose.) Using a sharp knife make lengthwise cuts ¼ inch spaced apart down the length of your onion and then make ¼ inch spaced cuts across the width of the onion. Perfect!
Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain well on paper towels and then crumble. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar together. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
If you are blanching the broccoli, drop the florets into boiling water. Leave no longer than 2 minutes. Drain well and rinse under cold running water to prevent it from cooking any further. (You can also pop it into an ice water bath.) Drain really well and then chop into bite sized pieces.
Add the broccoli florets, crumbled bacon, and chopped onion. Coat all well with the dressing. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Stir in the roasted cashew nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
Pour into a serving dish. Let come to room temperature before serving. (About 15 minutes of standing time.) Serve and enjoy!
TASTY BROCCOLI SALAD ADDITIONS
I think this recipe is a really delicious basic recipe for Broccoli Salad, however, with just a few additions you can really amp it up to something special!
⦁ Add some fruit. You can add raisins or dried cranberries, no more than ½ cup. You can also add a quantity of diced ripe pear or crisp red eating apple.
⦁ Add some additional protein in the form of cheese. Small cubes of cheese make an excellent addition. I recommend either a nice cheddar or a nutty swiss.
⦁ Instead of roasted cashew nuts try adding toasted sunflower seeds, flaked and toasted almonds, or toasted chopped pecans.
⦁ Really shake things up and use half cauliflower and broccoli. (I would blanch both.)
⦁ Tang up the dressing by adding a 1 TBS of Dijon mustard.
WHEN TO SERVE BROCCOLI SALAD
Because this will keep several days covered in the refrigerator, minus the nuts, this makes it the perfect portable salad, ready to take to work, picnics or potluck suppers. Simply add the nuts just prior to serving/eating.
This is an excellent salad to serve at BBQ’s and back yard get-togethers. Its also great to take camping if you are going to eat it up within the first couple of days.
Its great for lunch or as a brilliant side dish for supper.
Be it ever so humble, broccoli is one of those vegetables that is super-good for you. Being a member of the cruciferous vegetable family it is known as a super-food and contains anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer health benefits, as well as plenty of vitamins and anti-oxidants.
Crunchy, sweet, savoury, creamy, salty and colourful, Broccoli Salad makes the perfect addition to your summer suppers!
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 cup good quality mayonnaise
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 pounds fresh broccoli cut into florets
- 1 cup roasted cashew nuts
- ¼ of a medium red onion, peeled and finely minced
- Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain well on paper towels and then crumble. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar together. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the broccoli florets, crumbled bacon, and chopped onion. Coat all well with the dressing.
- Cover and chill for 2 hours. Stir in the roasted cashew nuts. Pour into a serving dish.
- Let come to room temperature before serving. (About 15 minutes of standing time.)
- Serve and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 614
Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.