I have been craving broccoli salad ever since I saw Kendra’s recipe at Homegrown Housewife. This is one of those flexible dishes that can be adapted to whatever odds and ends you have in the pantry. Out of slivered almond? Try sunflower seeds. Try it with dried cranberries instead of raisins. For the record, let me note that I still hate the flavor of mayonnaise, but it is important to use real mayo rather than the wannabes for best results. If you’re asked to bring a dish to a potluck or cookout, this is a classic. The bacon can be omitted for vegetarians, just increase or add a different type of nut for variety and interest.
If you hate the flavor of raw broccoli, you can still make this dish, just blanch the broccoli for 1 – 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain, then plunge the florets into ice water. This will get rid of the raw broccoli taste, but keep enough crunch to make this a pleasing cold salad.
Broccoli Almond Salad
- 1lb broccoli florets (5 – 6 cup) – roughly chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds – *toasted
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup onion thinly sliced (use red or yellow for best results)
- 3 slices cooked bacon – crumbled or chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas, optional (If I have them, great. If not, no loss)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sugar (Kendra swears Splenda works well) or 1/4 cup honey
- 2 – 3** TBSP vinegar – red wine or cider for best results
*Toasting almonds is simple, either heat in a dry pan over medium heat until they start to smell nice, tossing often, or use your broiler for 3 – 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them. It’s very easy to go from delicious to eew, burnt mess. It’s better to under toast in this case.
**Since I hate mayo, I lean towards the 3TBSP of vinegar. Experiment to find what best suits your palate.
In a large bowl combine the broccoli, almonds, raisins, bacon, and peas. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Stir briskly until almost all of the sugar is dissolved. (It won’t all dissolve, yet). Pour over the broccoli mixture and toss or stir to coat. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving. Do not skip this step. The flavors of the bacon, onion, almonds, and raisins need to marry with dressing and the florets need time to soak it up, too.
I like it even better the next day, but it will need to be stirred before serving.