Oh, em, gee. I have finally done it! I have figured out how to make my own version of Whole Food's Broccoli Crunch Salad, something I have been wanting to do for years! Seriously, my husband and I have been eating this salad and talking about how we should make it at home since we discovered this salad in their counter. And with a hefty price tag of $6.99/lb, it's not hard to understand why. I originally went the lazy way and asked my new cousin in-law (is that even a thing?) who works at Whole Foods to get me the recipe, but she never came through with it (they probably make her sign some sort if secret clause). So I set out into the inter webs to find a recipe. Luckily for me, there are a few other people who had the same idea. This recipe leans on the hard work of others, who did the research and experimentation on their own. I looked over a few recipes, picked and chose my favorite parts and combined them to make my own über-version of the original.
I have now made this 3 times in the last month, and not a bit has been thrown away. I made it to bring to dinner at a friends house, and even the finicky kids gave it their approval. The other two times were for Nick (the husband) and I's weekday lunches. I have already hinted about how I like to make my weekday meals ahead, and this is another great make ahead dish. As this salad sits through the days, it tastes better and better. And because the broccoli is raw, it retains some crunch and never feels soggy. So I pack this into little 1/2 cup Tupperware, and then pop one in the lunches everyday. I don't know about the man, but I look forward to eating it like it's a treat everyday. And that's saying a lot, because I don't really like sack lunches (but I still eat them).
Start with the bacon, I cook the strips whole and then cut it into little pieces, but of course you could do this the opposite way. While the bacon is sizzling, I work on prepping the broccoli. I like to buy it in a bag, so it's already cut off the head, but that's just personal preference. I dump the bag into a bowl and then pick through it. I take off most of the stem and break up the clumps to bite size pieces. They do not do this at Whole Foods, which is fine, but doesn't make for ladylike eating.
Then I move onto dicing up the onion. If I had my food processor out or had something else to chop with it, I would have used it, but I cannot justify cleaning a whole appliance just to chop one onion, so this time I chopped by hand.
Once the bacon is cooked and chopped, and the onion is diced you are ready to start building the salad.
Raisins are an integral part of this salad, and I just have to tell you that I hate raisins, prunes, craisins, and the like. But they are so good and not gross in this salad. This time I used raisins, but you can also use craisins, if that's what you prefer.
So throw all the dry ingredients into the broccoli bowl and star making the dressing. The dressing is super simple, mayo, Dijon, apple cider vinegar and then something to give it a little kick. You can use Sriracha hot sauce, or the garlic chili paste version, or even Tapatio, whatever you have that's a little spicy, your only going to use a little bit, so don't be scared. Then it's time for my secret ingredient! One little teaspoon of (recently rendered) bacon grease. I know it seems kind of gross, but it is only a little and it really bumps up the bacon flavor.
Throw in some pepper and mix it all together. It will be thick.
Mix the dry ingredients together prior to adding the dressing. Add dressing and start mixing.
Remember it is always important to taste what your making and then salt and pepper (or blog) to taste!
Rosie's Spin on Broccoli Crunch Salad
4 cups raw broccoli florets, chopped
1/4 lb. thick bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup salted dry roasted cashews
1/2 cup raisins, or craisins
3/4 cups mayo
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp hot or spicy sauce
1 tsp bacon grease
Salt and pepper to taste
Crunch ya later,