For summer parties and picnics, a broccoli salad will always be a crowd pleasing dish and there are so many different ways to make it. The most important thing to remember when you’re making a broccoli salad is to make it ahead of time. You can safely let it sit covered in your refrigerator overnight or even for a day or two. This will actually enhance the flavor as the sauce is absorbed into the vegetables and all of the flavors of the ingredients blend together as they sit.
This recipe should take about 15 minutes to prepare and makes at least 6 or 8 servings, so it’s great as a side dish for a family dinner. You can easily multiply the recipe for a family potluck.
You will need:
1 head of broccoli 6 to 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled ½ cup chopped red onion ½ cup raisins 8 ounces Sharp cheddar, small chunks 1 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons white vinegar ¼ cup sugar ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes salt and freshly ground black pepper
To prepare the broccoli, first trim the leaves off the broccoli stem and remove the tough end of the stalk, then wash the broccoli head thoroughly before you cut it up. Cut the broccoli head into florets and then also cut the stem into small, bite-size pieces. Put all of your cut broccoli in a large mixing bowl. You can add the cheese, bacon, onion, and raisins to the broccoli.
In a smaller bowl, mix your mayonnaise, white vinegar, salt and pepper, sugar, and cherry tomatoes together. Stir it well before adding it to your large bowl of broccoli and then lightly toss so that everything gets in contact with the sauce. It doesn’t need to be doused, because you don’t want it to get mushy.
Another great Southern celebrity recipe is that of country music star Trisha Yearwood, which is done a little differently than Paula Deen broccoli salad.
You will need:
8 ounces of bacon salt 5 cups small broccoli florets 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 1/3 cup chopped onion ¼ cup sugar ¾ cup raisins ½ cup sunflower kernels
Trisha recommends cutting your bacon into small pieces before frying over medium heat until just crisp, then drain it on paper towels. She also suggests blanching your broccoli in a large pan of salted water about 3 minutes, or until bright green and softened slightly. Drain the broccoli and run it under cold water, so it doesn’t continue to soften, then drain it again.
Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, raisins, and onion in a large mixing bowl, then add your broccoli and toss to distribute the dressing throughout. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
When you’re ready to serve this broccoli salad, you can gently fold in the sunflower kernels and bacon. This will keep these ingredients crisp and crunchy to add texture to the dish.
A typical broccoli salad is not as healthy as it sounds like it should be. Most similar dishes include mayonnaise and even bacon and cheese, like Paula Deen Broccoli Salad. I’ve found an alternative for more health-conscious cooks and it will surely rival the celebrity recipes listed above!
You will need:
6 cups broccoli (2 small or medium sized crowns) 1 cup raw sunflower seeds ½ cup red onion, finely chopped ½ cup raisins
For the Cashew Dressing, you will need:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 1 to 2 hours 1/3 cup water 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1 tablespoon chopped shallot 1 clove chopped garlic ½ teaspoon sea salt ½ dijon mustard
Chop your broccoli into bite sized pieces and use a mixing bowl to combine it with your raisins, red onion, and sunflower seeds.
It’s best to mix the dressing in a high-powered blender or food processor. When the dressing is completely smooth, you can add it to the bowl with your broccoli and mix until all ingredients are covered with dressing.
Although most broccoli salad recipes are raw and served cold, there is an Indian variation that requires a little more cooking preparation and can be served warm. This is another healthy alternative to Paula Deen Broccoli Salad and may be acceptable to vegetarians. Vegans may want to substitute the yogurt used to make the raita with their favorite vegan yogurt.
You will need:
250g of green beans, trimmed 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 2 teaspoons black mustard seed ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes 100g frozen peas (or fresh) 3 large carrots, grated large bunch of coriander, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons sunflower seed
For the raita, you will need:
200ml natural yogurt ½ cucumber, peeled and grated thumb-sized ginger piece, grated ½ teaspoon ground cumin juice and zest 1 lime 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves pita bread to serve it on (optional)
Start with a large pan of salted water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook the green beans for 4 or 5 minutes, add the broccoli also after the first 2 minutes. When the vegetables are tender, transfer to a strainer and drain them well. Combine all the ingredients for the raita in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Heat your vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat to toast the mustard seeds and chilli flakes for a few minutes. The smell should be fragrant. Then you can add your peas, green beans, and broccoli, tossing or stirring until heated through. After turning off the heat, you can stir the carrots and coriander into your pan of vegetables.
You can serve it warm on pita bread, with a dollop of raita and sprinkled with sunflower seeds.
This is an amazing recipe for broccoli salad that you can try when you’re grilling, but the preparation may be a little tedious, because it does require you to ″supreme″ your citrus fruits which means you need to remove all of the peel and pith. The article goes into some detail on how to do this, especially for the vinaigrette part of the recipe which I am omitting here.
For the Charred Broccoli Salad itself, you will need:
2 large stalks of broccoli (at least 1 pound) 1 tablespoon oil salt ½ teaspoon chile flakes 2 supremed oranges 1 supremed grapefruit 1 shallot, shaved into thin rounds prepared vinaigrette 1/3 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese freshly grated horseradish root for garnish
Let your grill heat up until hot before using. Peel your broccoli stalks and cut the broccoli into bite size pieces. Toss the broccoli in a bowl with oil, a bit of salt, and the chile flakes, to your taste. After they’re well oiled, you can grill the broccoli until lightly charred. It should take 8 to 10 minutes, they should be tender, but still crisp. Remove from the grill.
You can now toss the charred broccoli, the orange and grapefruit segments, and shallots together in a large bowl. Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of vinaigrette and continue tossing until it’s all lightly coated. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl and garnish with feta or cotija. Grate the horseradish root over this broccoli salad to taste.
It is recommended that you serve this broccoli salad immediately.
Some Broccoli Salad Tips
Although none of these recipes specifically recommend it, you can improve any recipe that includes broccoli by peeling your broccoli stalks. This isn’t a widely known practice, but it is stated in the LA Times recipe article for the grilled broccoli salad. Check out this video to see how she peels the broccoli for her salad.
Instead of using mayonnaise, you can try a Poppyseed Dressing or even a vinaigrette. Find a recipe online to make your own or just buy some to add to your broccoli salad. This will make it unique and set it apart from others if yours is not the only broccoli salad at the potluck.
Give your salad time to absorb the sauce and for all of your ingredients to blend flavors. It’s okay to let it sit in a refrigerator overnight. If onion is one of your ingredients though, be careful not to let your salad sit out long and come to room temperature. Onions do attract and absorb bacteria.