The Best Way to Make Broccoli Salad
The problem with most broccoli salads is the broccoli — the raw broccoli. Some people like raw broccoli, and actually, I love raw broccoli stems. They taste a lot like cabbage or cauliflower. But the florets? If they’re raw, keep them away please.
So, how to make a broccoli salad if you don’t like raw broccoli?
The solution — blanch the broccoli for 1 minute, or no more than two minutes. The broccoli will still be firm enough for the salad, the color will be even prettier, because blanching brings out the green, and the taste will be less raw and more cooked.
Other Ingredients in this Broccoli Salad
In this recipe, the broccoli pairs wonderfully with the toasted almonds, bacon, peas, and onion. The honey and vinegar in the dressing adds some sweet and sour to the mix.
Normally I cringe at the thought of broccoli salad, but honestly, this is one of the tastiest salads I’ve ever made, broccoli or not.
Prep Salad Ingredients to Make Ahead
This salad needs at least an hour to chill in the fridge before serving, or up to six hours or so. The salad is best served the day it’s made.
If you’d like to prep further ahead, you can blanch the broccoli, fry the bacon, and make the dressing a a day or two ahead. Keep them refrigerated separately, and wait to assemble the final salad until the day you plan to serve them.
What Pairs Well with Broccoli Salad
This salad will happily grace any buffet spread, from a summer cookout to a holiday gathering. It pairs well with almost any main dish, but it goes particularly well with chicken, steak, or salmon.
More Easy Side Salads to Try!
Broccoli Salad Recipe
The recipe makes a generous amount of dressing, so you may not need to use all of it.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5-6 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 1 pound of florets)
- 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or fresh peas if you can get them)
For the dressing:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
1 Blanch the broccoli: Bring a large pot of water, salted with a teaspoon of salt, to a boil. Add the broccoli florets. Cook 1-2 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the broccoli.
One minute will turn the broccoli bright green and leave it still pretty crunchy. Two minutes will cook the broccoli through, but it will still be firm. Set your timer and do not cook for more than 2 minutes, or the broccoli will get mushy.
Drain the broccoli and immediately put into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. After the broccoli cools, drain it well (pat dry on a clean tea towel or put in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture).
2 Make the dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar and honey.
3 Toss salad ingredients with dressing: Combine broccoli florets, almonds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and peas in a large serving bowl. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well. (Note you may not need all of the dressing.)
4 Chill thoroughly before serving.
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