Our neighborhood held it’s annual Fall Potluck Lunch over the weekend that always takes place along the banks of our little community “pond”. You know the routine, bring one covered dish and the main dish will be provided. So I thought that I’d make my own version of a salad that I’ve had several times since moving to the South and have fallen in love with.
Nothing gourmet or complicated about this recipe, just easy and filled with lots of flavor.
Oh yea, there’s a lot of broccoli in this deal, so it’s a little bit healthy for us too. If you want it to be more healthy for you, then eliminate/reduce the mayonnaise. At the potluck, there were many typical, ‘expected’ and ‘safe’ dishes brought to the potluck (potato salad, cole slaw, deviled eggs, baked beans, etc.) and so this salad was the first to disappear from the food spread!
The changes that I made from recipes found in numerous ‘community’ cookbooks were: I used the thickest-sliced, meatiest, smokiest bacon I could find . . . none of this mamsy-pamsy thin, complete-white-fat-stuff that pretends to be bacon allowed! Plus I used a full pound of this thick bacon, instead of 6 oz. of skinny, fatty bacon. I also replaced ordinary raisins with more flavorful and colorful dried cranberries (plus hubby won’t eat raisins and he’ll devour dried cranberries!).
Enjoy and if you prepare this . . . I’d love to know what you think and/or how you made it better!
- 1 pound thick-sliced, hickory smoked bacon (this makes ALL the difference!) fried completely until dark reddish-brown and crispy, then cooled, and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces.
- 1 – 2 pounds fresh broccoli, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1–1/2 cups dried cranberries
- 1 cup thinly shredded mild cheddar cheese, or small cubes if you like
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 – 2 cups mayonnaise
- 4 Tbsp. vinegar (try using red wine vinegar)
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, blend the first 6 ingredients together (from the broccoli to the sunflower seeds).
- Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar.
- Blend well until sugar is dissolved.
- Combine the broccoli mixture with the mayonnaise mixture.