Broccoli salads have become pretty standard fare at summer picnics and parties, sharing the classic rung with the likewise ubiquitous macaroni, pasta and potato salads. And there's nothing wrong with the classics . . . but every once in a while, I itch for just a little twist that makes people go, "Hmmmm . . . . what's in here?"
I was inspired to break out of my broccoli-salad-comfort-zone by "The Meaning of Pie," one of my favorite food blogs. Kelly Yandell has a knack for making ordinary things special . . . and photographs everything so well. Please pay a visit.
Often, you'll find broccoli salads swimming in a creamy mayonnaise dressing and laden with cheese and bacon. (Who doesn't love bacon?) This version has bacon but a more spare coating of dressing,.a tang from fruit juice, crunch from nuts and onion, and a touch of sweet from cranberries.
The salad that inspired Kelly, she shares, came from her Aunt Jane, who used yogurt in the dressing, but Kelly opted for sour cream because that's what she had on hand. I love a recipe, and the cook, that is flexible enough to take advantage of what's in the refrigerator and pantry.
Better-than-Average Broccoli Salad
only slightly adapted from The Meaning of Pie
4 cups fresh broccoli florets, stems copped and florets cut into tiny pieces
6 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 stalks of green onion, chopped fine
1 cup dried cranberries
For the dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
3 tablespoons apple juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Cut the broccoli into small pieces, using both the florets and the the stems.
Combine the broccoli, almonds, cranberries and onion in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, combining well. Pour over the salad and mix. Keep refrigerated .
Makes about 6 servings. (Easily doubled!)
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Now -- about the blog-cation. I didn't plan to be absent, just happened. We've been busy remodeling. (See the barn wood in my pictures? It's from our old barn and is now siding our fireplace wall. And my kitchen is now painted a beautiful red, outfitted with new appliances. Lots going on; and not quite done.) And then there was the 10-day fishing trip to Canada. And then there was . . . well, you get the idea. Plus, I was feeling I had nothing interesting to write about and, in the midst of remodeling, couldn't find my stuff! Anyhow, I'm calmer now and back in the saddle. Thanks for visiting. Come back again soon!