Choppin' Broccoli: Salad

Yeah, I know. Broccoli salad is so passe and it's been around since the 1980s. At least that's when I started making this recipe for family gatherings and picnics. But riddle me this Batman, how can something that tastes so good and is good for you be "outdated?"

Through the years my broccoli salad has evolved. When I first received the recipe it had dark raisins in the ingredients. Now, don't get me wrong. I love raisins. I love them in breakfast pastries like cinnamon rolls, and I love them in oatmeal cookies. But, I dunno... the dark raisins in the broccoli salad looked like flies, so I changed the dark raisins in the recipe to golden raisins. About ten years ago I changed the golden raisins to dried cranberries. The dark red color of the cranberry is even prettier and I like the tartness they bring to the salad. 

Ingredients:
3 crowns of broccoli (5-6 cups broccoli florets)
 cup dried cranberries (or golden raisins is a nice option)
1/2 cup of chopped cooked bacon, or more (I use the already cooked bacon like from Oscar Mayer or Hormel, and chop it)
½ cup salted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup red onion, diced

Dressing:
1 cup of mayonnaise (or 3/4 cup mayo and 1/4 sour cream)
1 ½ Tablespoons of cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
(You may also add a touch more of vinegar or sugar depending on your taste)

In a separate small bowl, blend the dressing until smooth, and put aside in the fridge. If you want the dressing thinner, add about a teaspoon of milk. Often I will make the dressing the night before and then pour it over the broccoli about an hour or so before serving. Otherwise, I think the broccoli gets too "wilty-looking." 

When it comes to cleaning the broccoli I will also clean it ahead of time, draining it well, laying it on top of paper towels, and setting it aside for a while or overnight before adding the other ingredients.

In a large bowl combine broccoli florets, dried cranberries, cooked bacon, sunflower seeds, and onion. The broccoli salad may be served immediately, but for best flavor refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Give the salad another quick toss before serving, if needed. Keep refrigerated.

The great thing about this salad is you can make it yours by adding anything you want like walnuts, almonds, radishes, cauliflower, and even shredded cheese. If you have your own version of broccoli salad, consider this a reminder to make it. 

In the meantime, I am flattered that comic Dana Carvey sang a song about me while I prepared this salad. I am the lady he didn't know. Choppin' broccoli! 

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