Monday, January 9, 2012

Broccoli Salad

I am so sorry for this horrible picture.
A million versions, one little salad. Here's how I make mine.
I quickly blanch the broccoli florets. You don't have to and I only do it for 30-60 seconds. Not long at all. I still get vibrant, crunchy broccoli. I just prefer it and so does my oldest, if I blanch first.
I love brown sugar and the flavor it gives so I use it. You can use maple syrup too, especially with a maple bacon. For vinegar, I like mild vinegars. I use a coconut vinegar.But use one you like!
 The red onion- I know some recipes call for 1/2 cup or so. I use oh.. a tablespoon. I just don't like raw onion. I also have used shallots.
You should also adjust the ratio of dressing to broccoli to your liking, I don't like a soupy salad, just enough to toss the broccoli in. That's why making sure the broccoli is dry and not water logged after washing or blanching is a must!
Diva has a nut allergy, so the sunflower seeds are awesome for us. She can have slivered almonds also.
You my also notice that I omit raisins. Some of you know why, others should read THIS. Peas, cherry tomatoes, shredded purple cabbage can be added also.

5-6 cups broccoli florets- blanched or raw
8 ounces or more :) of bacon- cooked and chopped
1/2 ish cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of bacon fat
1-3 tablespoons coconut vinegar (I use coconut, red wine, white, apple cider- whatever you want))
2-3 tablespoons loosely packed brown sugar  ( I love brown, I love the flavor)
freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons finely diced red onion- I put a teeny bit, but use as much as you like

Heat a pot of water with some salt 1-2 teaspoons. Once it's boiling add the broccoli and set your timer for 30-60 seconds. Immediately drain the broccoli and run it under very cold water or put it in an ice bath. Drain the broccoli well. Give it a spin in a salad spinner if you have one.
If you are doing the ice bath- get a bowl of ice water, put a colander inside the bowl and put the broccoli in there to keep the ice out. Believe me, fishing broccoli out of the ice water and avoiding ice isn't that fun.
Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, black pepper, brown sugar, bacon fat, and onions in a bowl. Taste the dressing! If it needs salt, add some but I find the bacon is salty enough. 
Add the broccoli, bacon, and sunflower seeds. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 4 or more hours. It tastes better once the flavors have a chance to develop and seep into everything.

More pictures from dinner

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