Thursday, August 9, 2012

Broccoli Salad...with Bacon!

I love this salad.

It starts out all healthy and great with broccoli, cauliflower and onion, and then you go ahead and de-healthify (totally a legit term) it with bacon and cheese.  And mayo.  Yeah, baby!  This is a favorite wherever I bring it, and sometimes we whip up a little batch at home for lunches or dinners.  You can customize it, too - throw in some julienned carrots, some toasted sunflower kernels, or sprinkle in some chia seeds. If you hate cauliflower, it's no biggie - we've made it without before, too.

Just a note - I don't usually follow these amounts exactly.  I like to kind of mix things until they taste right, or look right, consistency-wise.  The dressing for this salad can be REALLY spicy, REALLY sweet, or anywhere in between -  you should make it to your family's tastes.  Keep in mind the flavor of the hot sauce intensifies with time.  For the broccoli-cheese-onion-etc. ratio, just start tossing in handfuls or spoonfuls, and see how it looks - maybe you like 1/2 c. cheese, or 3 lb, of bacon - whatever floats your boat.  Just use these amounts as a general guidelines, and go from there!

Broccoli Salad...with Bacon!

2-3 large broccoli crowns, chopped or broken into florets
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped or broken into florets
1/2 red onion, diced (or you can add a whole onion or none!)
1 lb. bacon, cooked & crumble (don’t use turkey bacon, please)
1 c. longhorn or sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c. mayonnaise (can use low fat or fat free, but it’s sweeter, so adjust the sugar in the recipe as needed)
1/4 c. sugar (the old recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar!!  Start small; you can always add more)
6 tbsp. white vinegar
1-2 tsp. hot sauce (I use Tabasco - again, start with a few shakes, unless you know your family likes it hot.  The original recipe called for tablespoons, but I'd rather start light and add if needed...)

Combine mayo, sugar, vinegar and hot sauce in a small bowl and beat until frothy, or use a shaker and shake to combine.  Refrigerate until just ready to serve.  (I make it ahead of time – the day before works great). You could probably get away with cutting the dressing recipe in half - we go fairly light, so we usually only make 1/2. 

Wash and cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size (or smaller) pieces.  In a large bowl, combine with onion and cheese.  Refrigerate until just before serving.  Before you serve it, add the bacon (stays crispiest this way), and then add the dressing.  I like to add a bit at a time, so it's not over-dressed. 

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