Southern Broccoli Salad
A classic sweet and savory Southern broccoli salad combines raw (or barely cooked) broccoli with sweet dried fruit (typically raisins or cranberries), crunchy sunflower seeds and savory Cheddar in a creamy, tangy mayonnaise dressing. Briefly blanching the broccoli in boiling water ensures bright green veggies with a crisp-tender texture. The salad gets better with time, so make it a few hours ahead and refrigerate it. (Reserve the crispy bacon and sprinkle it on top right before serving.) And, if your tastes skew sweet, further increase the sugar by another tablespoon.
- Serves: 8 persons
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and pepper
- 8ounces bacon (any type)
- 10cups (1 1/2 pounds) 1- to 1½-inch broccoli florets
- 1cup mayonnaise
- ¼cup finely chopped red onion
- 2tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1cup coarsely grated Cheddar
- ½cup golden raisins
- ½cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
Step 1Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
Step 2Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until golden and crispy, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; discard bacon fat or reserve for another use. Chop the bacon into bite-size pieces.
Step 3Meanwhile, add broccoli to boiling water and cook until bright green, 1 minute. Rinse under cold water until cool (or transfer to an ice bath). Drain broccoli well and pat dry.
Step 4In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, onion, vinegar and sugar and mix well. Add the broccoli, cheese, raisins and sunflower seeds. Season with salt and pepper, and toss until well combined. (If time allows, refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 hours to allow flavors to meld, stirring occasionally.)
Step 5Transfer broccoli salad to a serving bowl or platter. Top with bacon. Salad can be served immediately, or refrigerated and served chilled.