Monday, March 1, 2010

Broccoli, Grape, and Bacon Salad


I'm not a broccoli fan. YES - I know it is great for you healthwise, but I've just never loved it. Ironically though, I LOVE this broccoli salad. My mom started making this when I was a teenager, and I still love it. My daughter had 5, yes five helpings of this the other night. She just couldn't get enough. I do have to brag that while a local restaraunt in our area that makes this salad, mine is SO much better, and this is such an awesome salad. The raw broccoli has a fantastic crunch while the grapes and sauce add a sweet tang contrasting beautifully with the crisp bacon and onion.

As many of my recipes, I learned how to make this at my mother's elbow. As such, the quantities are approximations (use more or less depending on how many servings you need). I continue to adjust until I'm satisfied with the taste. Sunflower seeds, apple chunks, pineapple chunks, a pinch of kosher or sea salt, and freshly ground pepper could also be added to this salad for variation.

1 to 2 heads broccoli (washed) (florets make this much quicker)
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 to 2 cups seedless grapes, washed and halved
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1-2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1-3 t. sugar (to taste)

Using cutting board, cut broccoli into bite-size pieces.
Combine broccoli, halved grapes, onion, and crumbled bacon pieces in large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, ginger, nutmeg, and 1 t. sugar. Slowly add vinegar, mixing until it reaches a buttermilk like consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings. If it still tastes like mayo, continue to add more vinegar and small amounts of sugar until it becomes tangy and slightly sweet.

Mix into broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Time saving tip: Using broccoli florets and pre-cooked bacon (available at Costco) considerably cuts down on the prep time.

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