Believe it or not, I struggle with picking sides for dinner. Like most, we always have green veggie and a starch, but I get so tired of the same things. For starches we always have rice, potatoes or corn. And for a green vegetable, some sort of salad, roasted broccoli or these Braised Peas. We LOVE all of these things and they are so easy to whip up and keep on hand, either stocked in the pantry or in the freezer (frozen broccoli and peas are HUGE lifesavers), which makes meal time easy and affordable, but I just get so tired of them.
Then a few weeks ago, we decided to start our weekend with a visit to the farmers market. One of the farm stands had an entire table of just fresh broccoli and because of their huge haul, were selling the broccoli for a great price. I couldn’t help myself and stuffed as many as I could into my cloth produce bag.
With our farm fresh broccoli bounty, I whipped up a big batch of this broccoli salad to go with that night’s dinner and to have for dinners, snacks and lunch throughout the week. We absolutely love this salad and have been making it for years. To be honest, I don’t think I had ever had broccoli salad (my Mom hates broccoli and so we never had to eat it growing up) until I met Eric, and had his Aunt’s famous and classic recipe. Over the years I have adapted her recipe to be a little bit healthier (her version had a TON of sugar and mayo) and to fit our taste preferences. This is now the version we love and pretty much the first thing I make when we have fresh broccoli on hand. It is a lovely recipe to serve for weeknight dinners and backyard barbecues all spring and summer long, thus adding a little change to our ho-hum side dish routine (cough, cough plain roasted broccoli).
- 5-6 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup sunflower seeds or pepitas*
- ½ cup golden raisins or dried cranberries*
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper, or to taste
- In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
*We use either sunflower seeds or pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) and dried cranberries or golden raisins depending on what we happen to have on hand.