Making a dent in the broccoli

Six heads of broccoli is, well, a lot. And I'm sort of dreading the possibility of receiving more in tomorrow's CSA share. We ate one head steamed, as a side dish with dinner. Another (very large) head got chopped up, sauteed with some extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper, and served over spaghetti. Then I used two more heads to make a broccoli salad.

You know the broccoli salad I'm talking about, right? It always seems to turn up at potlucks and barbecues. Basically, it's chopped raw broccoli tossed in a tangy mayo and vinegar dressing, usually along with some red onion and raisins. Often you see sunflower seeds tossed in, maybe some shredded cheddar, and sometimes crisp crumbled bacon. I've quite liked some of the versions I've tasted, but there's a lot of mayo-induced guilt to be found in that dressing. One version that I found online calls for 1 cup of mayonnaise in a salad containing 6 cups of broccoli. That would make for a one gloppy salad! And all that mayonnaise also made the salad a no-go in our house since the mayo-hating Mr. H. wouldn't eat it.

Until last year, I'd never actually made a broccoli salad myself. Then one day I happened across a recipe printed in a magazine ad for Cabot cheese. I was intrigued by their version of the dressing: plain yogurt stands in for most of the mayonnaise, and honey replaces the sugar. So I went ahead and tried their recipe, and I really liked it. The dressing has a great tangy sweetness, and the combination of crunchy raw broccoli, red onion, dried fruit and sharp cheddar is delicious. Even better, Mr. H. ate it...and had seconds, despite the very small amount of mayo in the dressing!

Here's a link to Cabot's recipe. It calls for either raisins or cranberries; I prefer the flavor and bright color added by the cranberries. It also gives an option of sunflower seeds or walnuts, and I chose walnuts. I skipped the crumbled bacon, but honestly that salty flavor would be a welcome addition here. This is a great summer salad, because you don't have to cook anything. Just chop chop chop, and you're good to go. It's also pretty served in a clear glass bowl. See?


Post-dressing and topping (hmm, not a great photo, but you get the idea):

And another two heads of broccoli bite the dust! Four down, two to go...

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