Most broccoli salads I’ve had are good, until I start gagging on the big pieces of raw broccoli! I think that’s the problem with most broccoli salads...so what’s a girl to do? Blanch the broccoli! To blanch means to cook briefly in boiling water. So you bring water up to a boil, dump the broccoli (and cauliflower, which I absolutely HATE raw) in, boil it for only a minute, then transfer it to a pot of ice water (or just rinse it in cold water until it’s cold)! What do you get? Broccoli with bright color, great flavor and nice crunch that doesn’t make you gag. Perfect! Of course, if you love raw broccoli, go ahead and use raw. But trust me on this one, blanched is the way to go!
I really loved this salad and ate WAY too much of it (hey, at least it’s relatively healthy, right?). The dressing is GREAT and tastes similar to poppy seed dressing, only with less fat because I used low-fat mayo! It’s best eaten the first day you make it, but it still tastes good the second day, even if it is a little soggy. This makes a huge bowl, perfect for an end-of-summer family party! And really, you don’t have to measure anything (except the dressing), just get the ratios you like!
I found a bunch of broccoli salad recipes online and just compiled the best of each one into this one, so it’s FULL of everything! I love the texture of this salad with the many ingredients!
[recipe by me]
4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped (about 3 nice-sized broccoli crowns)
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup raisins, grapes or craisins
6–8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese
1–2 cups matchstick carrots, optional
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fruity vinegar (such as apple cider vinegar)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix all dressing ingredients together with a whisk until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow sugar to dissolve and combine. Bring large pot of water to a boil, add broccoli and cauliflower, and boil for 1–2 minutes. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water or rinse under very cold tap water. Pat dry with paper towels. Mix all salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate until serving. Mix the dressing in just before serving, tossing well.