Broccoli salad is the perfect side dish for outdoor entertaining this summer. My broccoli salad recipe includes crispy bacon, sunflower seeds, and dried cherries tossed in an easy-to-make dressing.
Only a few more days and the summer season officially begins. I love the long days spent at the pool followed by a cookout for dinner. We are lucky enough to be able to use our grill year-round, but we use it quite a bit in the summer. I let my husband grill up the meat while I focus on making cool side dishes. One of my favorite summer side dishes is broccoli salad.
I had broccoli salad for the first time just a few years ago. I don’t recall it being a common dish to pass at potlucks in the midwest, but I may have just ignored it. I see it all the time at parties now, though, and I love it. I’ve been meaning to create my own version of broccoli salad, and I finally got around to it.
There seem to be three main ingredients in every broccoli salad – broccoli, bacon, red onions, and of course the dressing. But after that, you can add whatever you want. Some people add cheese, but I’m not a fan of raw cheese, so I skipped it. So I added pumpkin seeds, diced dried apricots, and dried cherries.
I also went a little heavy on the bacon. I cooked up about three-fourths of the package of bacon. You can use traditional bacon, or even pre-cooked to make this salad even quicker and easier to make.
The dressing on the salad is just perfect. It’s just enough to coat the ingredients, but it’s not drowning in it. I used red wine vinegar, but you could substitute any vinegar.
Making the broccoli salad is super easy. You just toss all the ingredients in a large bowl and coat with the dressing. The salad can be served immediately or chilled for later.
- Florets only from 2 heads broccoli
- 1 package Hormel Black Label Bacon (pre-cooked or traditional)
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 2/3 cup mayo
- 2 Tablespoons white sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- If using traditional or thick cut bacon, cook bacon until crispy and crumble.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the broccoli, onions, bacon, pumpkin seeds, and cherries. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together mayo, sugar, vinegar and salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the broccoli and bacon mixture. Toss to coat.
- Serve salad immediately or chill until ready to serve.