Monday, September 7, 2009

broccoli salad

When I first graduated college, I worked a summer at a farm. At the end of the day, the sketchy produce that couldn't be sold the next day was left to the gleaners, and we could take it home as well. I would come home with big boxes packed with fresh produce, and Amy and I would experiment in the kitchen making free meals.

This broccoli salad, inspired by her mother when on a religious potluck bent, is one of my favorites. It can be adjusted to what you have on hand, and it's a great way to get some raw broccoli!


broccoli, raw, chopped
onion, minced - sweet (Vidalia or Walla Walla) or red (I think red is prettier but it can be strong)
raisins and/or dried cranberries and/or grapes
sunflower seeds or almonds (chopped/slivered/etc.) or pine nuts
[sun dried tomatoes]
bacon (fried until well done and crumbled/chopped)

red wine vinegar
salt & pepper

This is an eyeball recipe, so I'll guess. I used a bunch of broccoli (two medium heads bundled together) and chopped up the florets to a medium size and some of the stalk (finely).

With that, about half a medium red onion - chopped finely.

Two slices of bacon, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 c grapes sliced in half (easier to eat), 1/4 c sunflower seeds. (No sundried tomatoes because I used those in another recipe at the same meal, and I'm not crazy about them in the salad.)

For the dressing, I didn't read the label and accidentally dumped in a bunch of red cooking wine. So then I realized I didn't have any red wine vinegar (which I really think is best for this recipe), so I added in some rice wine vinegar. Maybe 1/2 c mayo and 1/4 c vinegar and 1/4 c (or less) sugar. Taste it and adjust accordingly - it should be mildly sweet and a little vinegary to enhance flavor and creamy. You'll know it's right when it tastes great!

Then mix dressing & salad ingredients and you'll be the hit of the party!
Little trick: I hate the smell of bacon frying in my house because it lingers and BLECH! Maybe I'm hypersensitive, maybe the stovetop fan doesn't work - whatever. THIS is the way to do it:
Side burner on the grill, baby. And if I didn't have that, I'd do cast iron straight on the grill. Let the neighborhood salivate and save my house the stench. Awesomeness.

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