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Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Golden Raisins, & Sunflower Seeds

Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Golden Raisins, & Sunflower Seeds
This is one of those classic salads that everybody and their mother has a recipe for. They're all basically the same, but with little personal touches. It's actually not something I grew up with. I got a recipe from a co-worker when I did a brief stint selling motorhome windshields just out of college (no, that's not a joke - I even met Arlo Guthrie when his tour bus windshield cracked and he stopped in to get a new one).

We used to have certain days of the month where we'd bring in food, potluck-style, and a girl I worked with brought in a broccoli salad. Like most people, I was smitten. She wrote the recipe out neatly (and misspelled - "Brocolli Salad") on a pink index card that I still have today. Originally I made it exactly as written. My family started to not only look forward to it but to expect it on the table at our extended-family holiday meals.
Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Golden Raisins, & Sunflower Seeds
Over the years, I've tweaked that original recipe a bit by reducing the sugar, changing the color of raisins that I prefer in it, upping the amount of bacon (duh!), and adding sunflower seeds. As written today, this is pretty much my personal favorite version of this salad...although I'd happily eat your favorite version as well.

Broccoli Salad
Tiny broccoli florets, bacon, golden raisins, sunflower seeds, and red onion are folded together with a sweet and tangy dressing in this classic salad.
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Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Golden Raisins, & Sunflower Seeds
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: side bacon broccoli American

Ingredients (serves 8-10)
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large broccoli crowns
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins (or a mix of colors)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
Cut the bacon into small strips (or dice if slab). Cook until crisp, drain the grease off, and set the bacon aside.

In the meantime, stir the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, and several grates of black pepper into a bowl until smooth. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Cut the broccoli into very small florets (reserve stalks for another use) and put into a large bowl; you should have about 6 cups of tiny florets. Add the raisins, sunflower seeds, onion, and reserved bacon to the bowl and toss everything together.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then use a rubber spatula or spoon to turn and mix until everything is coated evenly in the dressing.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours before serving.

If you don't have White Wine Vinegar, you can substitute plain white vinegar, cider vinegar, or champagne vinegar
Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Golden Raisins, & Sunflower Seeds

Broccoli Salad