Classic Broccoli Salad (with a Twist, of Course)

I had to use my fingers and toes to count how many years ago that I first had this dish. My best guess is about 32 years ago. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't done the math. That's why I'm officially calling this a "classic" dish. To the best of my recollection I first had this dish at a cousin's baby shower when I was still in high school in the 1980's, and I asked my cousin for the recipe. The original recipe calls for golden raisins and sunflower seeds. I substitute those items for dried cherries and shelled pumpkin seeds. The cherries are an homage to my Michigan roots. They are delicious.

Classic Broccoli Salad
4 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup red onion, minced
8 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/8 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds)
3/4 cup mayonaise
3 Tablespoons of rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
1/4 cup of sugar

1. Gather all your ingredients.

2. In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and set aside. If you are feeling ambitious you can make homemade mayonnaise.

3. Mince onion and chop broccoli in florets. If you want a great time saver look for pre-cut florets in your produce department. Then you might only need to cut a few of the bigger pieces in half.

4. Add broccoli, onion, cherries, and pumpkin seeds to a medium sized bowl.

5. Add most of the bacon but reserve a handful to top the salad right before serving. I still love making bacon in the oven.

6. Add the dressing.

7. Carefully toss. This salad gets better after a couple hours of marinating in the dressing. If you can make ahead give it a final stir before topping with the remaining bacon.


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