Broccoli salad is a cool, refreshing side dish that complements just about any grilled meat. It’s easy to make, and best of all, nearly any vegetables you have in the refrigerator can go in it. If you don’t have some of the vegetables listed, skip them or substitute something you have on hand. You can even include chopped nuts (like pecans or almonds) or raisins. This recipe makes two large side dish servings that won’t leave you hungry!
- 1/3 c. mayonnaise
- 1/2 tbsp. white wine or rice vinegar
- 4 strips bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces
- 1 lb. broccoli, trimmed and broken into small florets
- 1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 c. red onion, chopped
- 1 c. red cabbage, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Blanch the broccoli: bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add broccoli, and boil for about 3 minutes or until bright green but still firm. Immediately remove the broccoli using tongs or a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water. (This stops the cooking process and preserves the color and texture of the broccoli.)
- Fry bacon: place pieces in a cold skillet and place over medium heat. When bacon pieces release their fat and move easily, stir and flip until all pieces are cooked. The sizzling noise will subside and the bacon will no longer be pink, white, or translucent (except for the very fatty pieces). Remove the bacon pieces to a plate covered with a paper towel and allow to cool. (I recommend reserving the bacon drippings from the pan for a future use.)
- Whisk mayonnaise and vinegar together in a medium bowl. Add cooked broccoli, bell pepper, onion, cabbage, celery, and bacon. Stir with a large spoon or spatula until vegetables are well coated with mayonnaise and vinegar mixture. Add bacon pieces, salt and pepper to taste, and stir again.
- Broccoli salad can be prepared and refrigerated for 2-3 hours or served immediately.