Dished Up: Broccoli and Bacon Salad

I adore barbeque season. The joy of eating outside combined with a plate loaded with different flavours is my idea of heaven. And our family sure know how to do a bbq! I love to try out new recipes for both salads and desserts but there is one dish that we bring out every year; Broccoli and Bacon Salad.  Just this salad alone provides sweet, salty and tangy delights and 3 of your '5 a day'. Our church provides some mean catering for weddings and this salad is often on the menu. A friend brought the recipe over from America so it's original source is unknown. If the dish is good enough for weddings is definitely good enough to grace your menu this summer.

What you need:
3 medium broccoli, cut into florets
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1-1.5lb bacon
1/2 cup of toasted flaked or roughly chopped almonds
3/4 cup raisins, soaked in water for an hour or overnight
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup vinegar

What you do:
1. Blanche the broccoli in boiling water until it is tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Chop the bacon into cm cubes and fry it until crisp.
3. Put the broccoli and bacon in a large bowl with the chopped onion, toasted almonds and soaked raisins.
4. For the dressing mix together the sugar, mayonnaise and vinegar until smooth.
5. Just before serving pour the dressing over the salad. Gently fold the dressing through salad mixing the ingredients and covering them in the dressing taking care not to break up the broccoli. Serve immediately.

If you're allergic to nuts the almonds can easily be substituted with pumpkin seeds.

Our Mum made the broccoli salad in the photos and I was on pudding duty so I made a chocolate and coconut banoffee pie from the BBC Good Food website. If you like sweet desserts you should try this but read the comments as getting the coconut cream thick enough can be challenging. we had it alongside a lemon cheesecake and some summer fruits. One dessert sometimes simply isn't enough.
Cassie xx

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