You know when you make something and it’s so easy, satisfying, and it’s a crowd pleaser, and then you make it again and again? I have done that with a few things during these *strange times*. And I try to stop myself before I over-do it and cause my family to be sick of it. I am trying to strike the balance of regular-rotation rather than over-saturation.
I know there are dozens of variations on this salad, but I believe my friend Rita, makes the best. Last year in small group (back when we were having meals together before our gatherings were shifted to Zoom meetings and outside bundled up and distanced in person gatherings- insert sobbing) Rita brought this salad several times. It was met with great enthusiasm and large scoops piled on our plates. I asked for the recipe and have been making it ever since.
1-1/2 lbs (8 cups or 24 ounces) fresh broccoli, broken into small flowerettes
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sunflower kernels- dry-roasted, salted
2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
8 slices cooked, crisp bacon, crumbled
1⁄2 cup mayonaise
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
Start by cooking the bacon, is it takes the longest. While it’s cooking, chop the onion and broccoli and measure out all of the ingredients. Combine the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Prepare dressing and stir it in. If it seems too dry, add more mayo and vinegar a spoon at a time until it looks right. Ideally, chill for at least a couple of hours before serving. (Though we have served it within minutes of making and there were no complaints, it just gets more incorporated if it has a while to marinade). Alter the quantities of ingredients as you prefer. It’s very flexible and forgiving.
Many times we have formed a meal menu around this salad: Broccoli Salad and Burgers, Broccoli Salad and Grilled Chicken, Broccoli Salad and Hot Dogs on the Fire Pit… you get my point. My family- all 5- cheer for this salad, I hope you and your people do too.