Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Broccoli Salad

This salad has made the rounds at family reunions, graduation parties, picnics, and most other "pot luck" functions. Because it's good. And you can get two servings of fruits and veggies pretty easily with one serving of salad. And it's good.

Cook and chop 6-8 slices of bacon. Then chop the broccoli. I am a broccoli snob, so I only use the florets. If you're not as snobbish, you can peel and use some of the stalk, too. Put the broccoli and bacon in a large bowl.

Cut the grapes in half and throw them in the bowl. I always halve them because in my experience, it is VERY difficult to pick up a whole grape with a fork, especially a plastic fork at a picnic. It will drive you crazy. So for the love of sanity, halve the grapes. I usually use all red grapes. Some of the versions of this recipe call for 1/2 green and 1/2 red, remember I like to USE WHAT I HAVE. Look at how beautiful it is already:

Next, toast the almonds. This may seems like a silly step but it's not. Toasting them heightens the flavor of the nuts and makes a huge difference. The easiest way to toast them is in a small skillet over medium heat.

But watch them carefully and shake the pan often. Once they begin to brown, shake a bit more, and remove from the heat before they burn! Add them to the bowl.

Combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk well. Pour over the salad and stir well. When I make this in "real" life (i.e. when I am not taking pictures of the food I am preparing) I make this in a large tupperware bowl, put the top on, and shake, shake, shake!

I sometimes prepare the salad the night before which gives it plenty of time in the fridge for the dressing to mingle and the flavors to combine. (If you do this, add the almonds just before serving so that they stay crunchy.) It's also delicious if you eat it right after you make it. Let's face it, it's delicious any time you eat it. Even for breakfast. (It does have bacon.)

Get more great broccoli inspiration at the In Season Recipe Swap.

Broccoli Salad

1 large bunch broccoli
2 cups red grapes
1/2 c slivered almonds
6-8 slices bacon
1 cup mayonnaise (light works fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1-2 T. cider vinegar (depending on your taste, I use 2)

Chop broccoli. Halve grapes. Toast almonds. Cook and chop bacon. Combine all in a large bowl. Mix together mayo, sugar and vinegar until well mixed and sugar is dissolved. Pour over salad and toss well. Refrigerate until serving.


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