Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Broccoli Salad

Whenever people get together, the opportunity to eat and share is almost mandatory.  My writers group have several committee meetings at which we need to get together to complete a task.  As these often include a few hours work, we bring food to eat during our break.  In all the years I've been doing this, not once has someone shown up with a pizza.  It's more like we bring the dish we love to cook or that we do best.

This recipe for Broccoli Salad came from one of those meetings.  It was donated by my friend and fellow writer Marlo Berliner.  Here are all the ingredients.


Clean the broccoli well.  I used to pick my own vegetables and I found the enemies of broccoli bear the same green color.  I'm sure what you buy in the stores has been treated, but I always clean it anyway.

Use the food processor to grate the broccoli.  I love texture that comes from finely chopping the broccoli.  You can use a knife, but the food processor is faster and the texture is even.

Using my hands, I scrap every moral of broccoli from the sides of the food processor bowl. Remember Grandma's hands.  I discovered this song was written in 1971 by Bill Withers for his own grandmother.

If you're like me, you hate messiness and you hate cleaning.  As a result I tend to clean dishes and utensils as I go.  Resist.  Do not rinse or wash the food processing bowl.  You still have onions and cheese to grate.  And who doesn't like cheese with bits of broccoli in it, or the other way around?  The bits and pieces of broccoli left in the bowl (those you couldn't get it out with your hands) will be embedded in the other ingredients.  This is fine since they will all be mixed anyway.

 I like to buy cheddar cheese in huge blocks.  It's versatile for so many dishes, macaroni and cheese, other Italian dishes or as a healthy snack with fruit (and wine if you're inclined).  I cut my 2-pound block in half.

Never buy grated cheese again.  This is fresher and doesn't have the preservatives of the packaged cheeses.

Can you see the broccoli bits it picked up in the cheese?

Onions are next.  When it comes to onions and food processors, the phrase to remember is "quick, fast, and in a hurry.  I only need a small red onion and I've discovered that red onions are just as pungent as any other onion.  They will bring tears your eyes.

The food processor will turn them into mush or juice, so the trick is to do it fast, almost in an on-and-off method as fast as your hands will move.  You can always do it again if the pieces are too large.

I cut the onion in quarters and dump them in my unwashed processor.  I use the same unwashed blade I used to grate the broccoli.  Then turn it on and off quickly.  I think mine ran for 2 seconds.

This is a place when I don't use my hands.  I try to touch onions as little as possible.  The smell takes forever to go away, despite lemon juice, Listerin mouthwash, and coffee.  I use a rubber spatula to put them in a bowl. And still I haven't rinsed the food processor.

Bacon.  I do it in the food processor too.  What a time saving device.  And once I get it out of the cabinet and plug it in, I use it for as many jobs as possible.  It works best if the bacon is crisp and cool.  So straight out of the microwave and into the processor is not a good idea.

Now that all the ingredients are assembled, go ahead and wash he food processor.  You can even put it away.  You're done with it.

Mix all ingredients well.  Add mayonnaise a little at a time to prevent it from becoming soupy.  Green, being the dominate color, will pop out at you in glorious and delicious hues.  It reminds me of my rival high school whose colors green and gold. Only this you can eat.  The bits of red onion add a shadow of smile to the mixture.  It's a surprise when you come across the texture in your mouth.  The sweetness added from the sugar along with the hint of vinegar make for a tantalizing dish. 

Mix all the ingredients together

Mix well, but take it easy when combining all the ingredients.

Chill and serve.

This dish reminds a me of that candy we used to eat as children.  I can't remember the name of it, but it came in a small box.  You'd put a handful in your mouth and it would pop, bursting with different fruity favors.  The broccoli salad shares a surprise with every mouthful.  It's crunchy, sweet, coarse and all things delicious.

Here's the recipe for Broccoli Salad


2 to 3  Large bunches of Broccoli (finely copped in food processor)
1/3      Red Onion (or 1 very small red onion)
½ lb    Cheddar Cheese Shredded
1/2 lb  Bacon - fried crisp and chopped
½ to 3/4 cup    Mayonnaise (based on taste)
½ cup Sugar
2 tbls  Vinegar - white


Add all ingredients as shown above.  Refrigerate.  Makes a medium bowl.

If you're having a large crowd or a few people over, the broccoli salad lends itself to the make-ahead-of-time schedule.  You can make this a couple of days in advance and it will last a week in your refrigerator.  I love make-ahead-of-time dishes.  They remove some of the work needed to prepare everything when you're having guests.  And with this already made, you're not too tired to enjoy your own party.

1 comment:

  1. My mother always buys this at King Salad and passes it off as her own. :-) Next time she visits I will prepare this. A great step-by-step, and a pleasure to read.