Crunchy broccoli bacon salad with sweet dried cranberries, crunchy walnuts and pumpkin seeds, plus a creamy dressing. Great for summer lunches and dinners. See notes at end for special dietary needs.
Keyword Bacon, broccoli
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 3minutes
3/4cupVegenaise or mayonnaise
1-2teaspoonsapple cider or white vinegarto taste
4-6 slicesbaconpreferably nitrate-free
2headsbroccoli crownsabout 1 1/2 pounds
1/3cup dried cranberries raisin or goldenberries
1/4 cupchopped walnuts
Prep Ahead Directions (optional)
To prep ahead: trim, steam and chill broccoli, refrigerate. Fry the bacon, drain and chop, refrigerate. Chop the onion, refrigerate. Make the dressing and refrigerate. Toss before serving
To Make and Serve
Whisk the dressing ingredients together until smooth in a medium bowl and set aside to toss the salad. Fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels and chop. While the bacon is cooking, start on the broccoli.
Fill a large bowl half full with ice and cold water for an ice bath. Trim broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces for 8 cups florets. See post photo for help. Save broccoli stems for another use. In a medium pot add a vegetable steam basket and enough water to come to the bottom of the basket. Cover with a lid and bring to steaming over medium high heat. Add the broccoli and steam for 2 minutes. Immediately remove the broccoli to the ice bath to stop the cooking process and retain the bright green color.
To serve, add the bacon, broccoli, and all other ingredients to the bowl with the dressing and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate for an hour before serving. Salad is best dressed and served close to serving time to maintain crispness. Leftovers will hold up to two days well covered but the broccoli will not be as crisp.
How to Adapt for Dietary Needs:
For vegans - skip the bacon and use a plant-based mayo such as Vegenaise and add hemp seeds
For nut sensitivities - skip the walnuts; pumpkin seeds should be okay
For vegetarians - skip the bacon and add diced or grated hard boiled egg and try a tablespoon of hemp seeds
For histamine intolerance, skip the bacon, use white vinegar (ok on the SIGHI list), and skip the dried fruit to be safe. Walnuts are a histamine liberator so use more pumpkin seeds. Another nut alternative is Macadamia, safe for most people.