There is a small breakfast cafe near where I live where all the retired folk gather to mix, and mingle. They have the best Broccoli Salad recipe that my Mom loves! This Broccoli Salad with Crispy Bacon is my attempt to duplicate their broccoli salad for my mother. This salad is creamy and crunchy with a nice contrast of sweet and savory. The mayonnaise, coarsely ground brown mustard, and apple cider vinegar makes an amazing dressing that lightly coats all of the healthy veggies. I always use the stem of the broccoli when making this salad. Once the tough fibrous exterior is peeled and removed, the insides are cool, sweet, juicy, and crunchy. Lightly toasted chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, or toasted pine nuts make an excellent addition to the recipe as well.
Raw or Cooked Broccoli?
- I prefer to use raw broccoli for this recipe. However, raw broccoli can be irritating to people with sensitive stomachs. If you’re making Broccoli Salad for a potluck or cookout I recommend quickly cooking the broccoli by either steaming or parboiling.
- Parboiling is an excellent way to prepare broccoli. I use unsalted water, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, add the broccoli for 1-minute, strain, and immediately add to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and lock in the beautiful green color.
- Steaming broccoli for 4-5 minutes is the healthiest way to cook it. However, you only want to cook out the rawness of it. Submerge the hot broccoli in an ice bath immediately to stop cooking.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Broccoli is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and an impressive list of other nutrients. It is definitely, one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable and is part of the family including Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. For cancer-fighting, detoxification and lowering cholesterol, between ¾-cup and 1 ½-cups per day of cruciferous vegetables are recommended.
Broccoli loves fat, but then again who doesn’t?!? That is because broccoli is high in Vitamins A, D, E & K. These vitamins are ‘fat-soluble’, meaning that they require a fat molecule to act as a vehicle to be absorbed by your body. This explains why broccoli is frequently served with a cheese sauce or in a creamy soup. Or in the case of my Broccoli Salad recipe, crispy bacon and a mayonnaise-based dressing.
Can You Modify Broccoli Salad?
Absolutely! Here are some of my favorite additions to my Broccoli Salad recipe:
- Dried Cranberries: add a nice tartness and a little sweetness to the salad.
- Nuts and Seeds: raw or toasted nuts are a great addition as well as adding a healthy source of fat and protein.
- Honey Mustard Vinaigrette: a nice change from the mayonnaise dressing, it gives a little sweetness and a nice tangy flavor from the mustard.
- Green Apples and Grapes: diced green apples with the skin on adds a tart crunch, same with seedless grapes, just halve them and let the sweetness do all the work.
- Dried Fruit: apricots, mangos, figs, etc. the list goes on and on, I love the awesome flavors the sweet dried fruit brings this salad.
How Long will Broccoli Salad Keep?
About 3-days in the refrigerator. Broccoli Salad is a great meal prep side item for your lunch box. Frankly, I think it tastes better after a day or two in the fridge.
Here is my Broccoli Salad with Crispy Bacon recipe:
Broccoli Salad with Crispy Bacon
- 2 Heads Broccoli small bite-size florets and peeled diced stems
- 1 Cup Shredded Carrots
- 1/2 Pound Bacon ½ inch dice extra crispy
- 1/2 Red Onion Thinly Sliced
- 1/2 Cup Raisins
- 3 Stalks Celery Diced
- 1/2 Cup Flat-Leaf Parsley Chopped
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Coarse Grain Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds No shells
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
- 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts Lightly toasted
- Dice bacon and cook until extra crispy, drain on paper towels
- Peel the stems of the broccoli and chop into ¼ inch dice
- Cut the broccoli into bite-size florets
- Combine the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, coarse grain mustard, salt, and pepper, mix well
- Reserve half of the bacon then combine all remaining ingredients and mix well
- Refrigerate for one hour before serving, stir well before serving
- Sprinkle the reserved half of the bacon on top and serve