Mom’s Broccoli Salad
Growing up,we pretty much had the same meals every week. Both of my parents worked full days, and most of the time I can remember my cousins staying with us, giving our parents that many more mouths to feed. While my mom was no super chef, but what she did make every week, she made extremely well. One of those dishes, which I constantly make today, is always a hit anywhere I go. That dish is my mother’s Broccoli Salad.
This salad has such simple ingredients, and, as much as I try to add or subtract from the list, it is always the best just the way she makes it, with one exception, the dressing. My mother uses a simple bottled Cole Slaw Dressing, where I’ve spiced things up a tad bit by using a mixture of Cole Slaw and Honey Mustard Dressings. I think it adds just a bit of a kick and takes it up to that next level.
This salad is good for pretty much anything. It’s makes a great vegetarian option for lunch, goes great with burgers and chicken, and is especially complimentary to BBQ. I also wouldn’t count it out with a nice hearty piece of breaded talapia or some fish sticks for the kids. Without further adieu, here’s my spin on my Mommy’s Broccoli Salad.
- 4 C Broccoli, chopped into florets
- 3/4 C (about 1/2) Red Onion, small dice
- 3/4 C Cheddar Cheese, shredded or small dice (Pepper Jack makes a lovely substitute as well)
- 1/2 C Bacon, crumbled or chopped (About 4 slices) **Leave out for vegetarian option**
- 3/4 C (about 2 stalks) Celery, halved and diced
- 1/2 C Cole Slaw Dressing
- 1 TBSP Lt. Honey Mustard Dijon Dressing (or make your own, combining, 2 to 1, Dijon Mustard to Honey)
1. Begin by slicing strips of bacon into “lardons”, or small strips. Cook them in a pan until brown and crispy. You can also cook full strips and chop them after. Either way is fine.
2. Chop your broccoli into florets. The stalk is completely edible and tastes pretty good. You want to chop your large head into smaller heads. Slice the stalk until you reach the head, Then, begin slicing it into small florets.
3. Chop your red onion in half and remove the paper on the outside. **Here’s a tip: to help you hold the onion as you chop it, pull the paper, or inedible outer skin, of the onion to the end, but not off. As you get to the end of the onion, this will give you more to hold onto. Slice the onion horizontally about 3 times, then vertically. Now, chop into a small dice.
4. Chop your cheese any way you like. I found this handy dandy cheese slicer on sale while I was in Germany, but they are definitely sold all over the world. It utilizes a handle with a small wire that slices through any cheese like butter. If you cut a lot of cheese, and I LOVE cheese, this is an awesome little gadget to have, and you can find them on sale all the time. This one is marble, and keeps the cheese nice and cold, but they come in other materials, like wood and plastic, as well.
5. Slice celery stalks in half. Feel free to use the leaves as well, and dice.
6. Dump everything into a bowl and toss it lightly. Mix the dressings and pour over the salad. Toss until everything is coated. All Done!
You can make this salad the night before or earlier in the day. If you plan on making this early, my suggestion is to wait until at least 2 hours before serving to add the cheese. I find the cheese tends to get mushy if left in the dressing all day or overnight. I don’t like that much dressing on mine, so I usually don’t have to worry too much about it going mushy if I make it the night before, or eat it a day or 2 later. Make this salad! You will not be sorry. ENJOY!