Broccoli salad is a quick and easy farm-fresh salad that’s crunchy, delicious, and pretty to look at. It combines wonderful fresh flavours, colours, and textures from broccoli, raisins, bacon and cheese. These are wonderfully accented with the tangy yet creamy dressing made from mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar. All of the flavours combined make for a crowd-pleasing dish sure to be a hit at your next potluck.
The main character in this ensemble is of course the broccoli, so be sure to stop by the farm and have some freshly picked. Broccoli that has been sitting on a supermarket shelf will give you a dry salad, and you don’t want to serve something that’s not fresh. Grab some vegetables while you are at the farmers market and add them in. Vegetables that pair well with this salad include bell peppers, celery, zucchini, cauliflower, and mushrooms.
You can add a little flair to your salad by throwing some nuts on the top, almonds, cashews, or pecans work well. Or, if you aren’t the nutty type then try some fresh seedless grapes for a sweeter salad. After you have done prepping your salad throw it in the refrigerator for an hour so the veggies can soak up some of the flavours.
If you want to make the salad a little easier to eat then blanch the broccoli before you start making the salad. Blanching is quite simple, place your broccoli in some boiling salted water for a couple of minutes, then drain. Let the broccoli cool or place them in an ice bath for 5 minutes for quicker cooling.
Want to add some meat and still keep it low-calorie? Throw in some shredded chicken leftover from Sunday’s dinner and lightly tossed in some smoky bbq sauce for a new flavour twist.
This recipe calls for fresh red onions, but if you find them very potent in their flavour, try soaking them in some vinegar to dial back their flavour punch. Leave your onions soaking for about 20 mins ahead of time. This tip works well for any recipe that calls for raw onions and you want to dull the onion flavour slightly.
You can store your leftover Broccoli salad for up to 3 days if refrigerated in an airtight container. If you are making this salad to take to a potluck, don’t add the nuts until you are ready to plate. If you add them before you serve the salad they will lose their crunch and add an undesirable texture to your salad.
You can also swap out the cheddar for some other cheese that you have in the refrigerator. Some other cheeses that work are Swiss, Gruyere, smoked gouda, or provolone.
Want a calorie-reduced version of this salad? Just replace your regular mayonnaise with a light version, or even lighter by skipping the mayonnaise entirely and use Greek yogurt instead.
You can even make an entirely different dressing by using a tangy honey-mustard dressing. The ingredient list is short for this dressing with only extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and sea salt.
|Prep Time||15 Mins|
- 1 head broccoli
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut into two pieces or more (or grapes cut in half)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 8 oz old cheddar cheese (cut into very small squares)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/2 cup red onion (chopped)
- 6 to 8 slices cooked bacon (crumbled)
The prep work comes first, start by trimming off the large leaves and remove the tough stalk section of the broccoli. Rinse your veggies well goes for this salad and all vegetarian dishes. Slice the broccoli florets and softer section of stems into small bite-sized squares.
Transfer your chopped broccoli pieces into a large mixing/serving bowl. Throw in your onions, raisins, bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and stir well.
In a separate bowl, you can assemble your dressing. Combine sugar, cherry tomatoes, white vinegar, and mayonnaise and stir well until combined. That’s it you are done, just before serving add your finished dressing, mix well and top with nuts.