This dish is a classic and a lot of people really have their own take they prefer. Well this is mine! And there are a few tricks or important points to note that make the extra good version extra good. First of all I really cook the bacon- to the point of overcooking- where it is so crispy, it almost tastes burnt. You want that super crispy, easy to crumble bacon. I think at that stage you definitely get more of the bacon flavour in the salad, and the bacon crunch sticks around even after a day or two.
Also I like to use small chunks of cheese versus shredded cheese. I don’t know why it makes it better but for me I just prefer it. Normally I’m not a cheese person but it really balances out the flavours. I personally prefer an Old Cheddar and that’s what I use. While I wouldn’t normally prefer the chunkier cheese version, in this salad it really works.
As for the rest of it, well its hard to go wrong. The dressing is super quick and easy to make. The sugar is essential I’m sure, but I’ve never tried not adding it. I’m sure you could cut the sugar in half and still have a great dressing. Let me know how that goes in the comments!
2 heads of broccoli
Small Bar of Cheddar cheese cut up into chunks
1 cup dried cranberries
¼ to ½ package of cooked, super crisped, bacon
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup red onion diced into small pieces
The sunflower seeds are a good addition and don’t impact the flavour significantly. I find that onion however can make the dish taste more onion like though. Which I personally don’t like- it is not an onion dish, it’s a broccoli, bacon, dish. I love onion in my salad but I don’t add it to this one. You should though if you like a bit of onion flavour and want to add some extra flavour to this salad.
3/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 Tablespoon vinegar
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Make the Bacon
Cook the bacon (on medium heat) until its really crispy, maybe even a little overcooked, and will crumble easily into bits, let it cool off.
Prepare the Dressing by combining all the ingredients and mix well, let it sit for 15 minutes before adding it to the salad.
Prepare the Salad
Cut the broccoli stems off and the bunches into small bite size pieces
Cut up the cheese into small chunks
Combine it in a bowl with dried cranberries
Crumble cooled bacon on top
Add additional ingredients if you want at this point
Pour dressing, mix well, and its ready
What makes this dish so good is in part the dressing. The sugar helps I’m sure, but the mixture of the sour cream, mayo, and vinegar does wonders as well. It’s only a little time consuming because you have to chop up so much. That’s not to difficult though if you have a decent knife to do the chopping.
It is great to bring to parties because once you’ve made it, it goes in the fridge and is served cold. I usually let it sit about a half hour before I take a bite, and it is always good for the next couple days after you make it. That’s if you have any leftovers! The only time I have leftovers is if I secretly make it then don’t tell anyone, and sometimes I do that just so I can have it all.
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