Friday, October 19, 2007

Gloria's Broccoli Salad

Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for slaw with my barbecue, but I still want something cool, crunchy and creamy that also has some nutritional value. That's when I make this easy broccoli recipe, which is also a hit at potluck suppers and cookouts. One nice thing about this recipe is that you can make it with bacon OR you can make a vegetarian version using toasted sunflower seeds.

1 bunch fresh broccoli
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
4 or 5 strips of crisp-fried bacon, crumbled (for a vegetarian version, subsitute 1/4 to 1/3 cup of raw hulled sunflower seeds that you've dry-roasted until lightly browned - see note)
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup light or fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar or Splenda(r) brand sugar substitute
2 tablespoons vinegar (white or cider)

Trim the tough ends off the broccoli stems and use a potato peeler to strip off the tough outer "skin" of thick stems. Cut the broccoli into small florets and slice the trimmed stems into approx. 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place in a large non-metal bowl and mix in the onion, bacon (or sunflower seeds) and raisins. Refrigerate (you can prepare and refrigerate up to 24 hrs ahead of serving time). In a separate small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sugar (or sugar substitute) and vinegar, and pour over the salad just before serving. Serves 6.

Note: I like to roast sunflower seeds by spreading on a baking sheet and placing it in my toaster oven or regular oven at about 300 degrees, keeping a close eye and stirring frequently to make sure I remove the sheet as soon as the seeds start toasting and before they start smoking (be careful - this only takes a few minutes). You can also dry-roast the hulled seeds in a dry non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat on your stovetop, again keeping a close eye and stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure they don't burn.

This salad works really nicely as a side dish for pulled pork and grilled meats - now all you need is a tasty barbecue sauce and maybe also a dry rub and you'll be good to go!

Zestfully yours,

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