I am sure that by this weekend it will snow and kill all of the daffodils, but right this very second it really does feel like spring is making an appearance. And so, I'm continuing what has become a theme for the week: Culinary Spring Break.
I think I first had a version of this salad eating dinner with the family of a college boyfriends, I scooped up big forkfuls and loved the combination. I assumed that this was a brilliant creation of my boyfriend's mother, until a few months later when I was served something very similar at a cookout thrown by friends. It was that moment when I realized that while this was a unique combination, it wasn't rocket science, and so I created my own broccoli salad, dubbing it "Picnic" salad because it is a great salad for cookouts and picnics, although it should stay cold because of the mayonnaise in it. It's really, really good with fried chicken.
3 cups broccoli but into small florets
.5 cup dried cranberries (raisins, currants, and cherries work, too)
.5 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
5 slices bacon cooked, then crumbled
3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
.5 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
pinch freshly ground pepper
Steam the broccoli florets until they are bright green and just beginning to soften, but still very crisp. Run under cold water and let cool and dry completely in a colander.
In a serving bowl combine the steamed broccoli, cranberries, sunflower seeds, bacon, and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Pour over the broccoli mixture and gently combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later use. If I am not serving this right away, I sometimes like to wait and add the bacon later, so it stays crisp. Enjoy!