Welcome, my friends, to the weekend! I hope you have lots of fun-in-the-sun planned, whether it is at the beach, the lake, your own backyard, or taking a walk around your neighborhood. This salad is perfect for the weekends. It is the ideal accompaniment to your outdoor cooking favorites… fancy and colorful enough to partner with a grilled steak… but simple and downright delicious enough to go with your dogs and burgers.
This salad is a perfect of example of how food can be really amazing… I mean, we can take a few rather mundane ingredients… raw broccoli… sunflower seeds… and plain old celery (rather unfortunately, none of these are my favorite things) and mix it all together and it is transformed into a medley of flavors that is something far greater than the sum of its parts. Um…. I believe that’s called synergy, baby! And this salad has it!
So, everyone has had a version of broccoli salad before, and every deli has it too. Is there anything particularly special about this version? Not really, I guess… it’s just my fav. I like making my own because I know what’s in it, all the ingredients are freshly cleaned and hand-chopped, and I can make the dressing nice and light. The dressing in this version is lightened up, but not lacking in flavor by any means… it is tangy and lightly sweet with a touch of smokiness from the bacon. The grapes add such a lovely burst of sweet juiciness and the celery… dare I say it, adds the perfect crunchity-crunch and tastes delish when mixed with all the flavors in this salad.
I just love it when my veggies taste this freakin’ good, don’t you??
- 1 large head broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 2 cups celery, diced
- 2 cups red grapes, halved
- ¾ cup light mayonnaise
- ¼ cup (or a little less) milk
- 2-3 tsp white or red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- Combine the broccoli, green onions, celery and grapes in a large bowl; set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, milk, vinegar and sugar, stirring with a whisk until thoroughly mixed. Add to the vegetables and gently fold until well coated.
- Just before serving, add the bacon and sunflower seeds.
Start with about ⅛ cup of milk for the dressing and slowly add more, whisking until you reach the consistency you desire for the dressing. I like mine juuust right: not too thick, and not too thin.