Friday, June 26, 2009

Choppin' Broc-o-lay

A sure sign that you experienced 1980s popular culture is if you sing Dana Carvey's "Choppin' Broccoli" song from Saturday Night Live whenever you bring home a stalk of broccoli. I am so there! "My lady, she went down town....she bought some broccoli....she brought it hoooooome." Well, we got a lot of really, really nice broccoli in our CSA box this week, and I've been "choppin' broc-o-lay" to my heart's content.

Another broccoli-related blast from years ago is that salad that used to show up at all the pot-lucks and family dinners. It was made of broccoli florets, bacon and raisins drenched in a kind of sweet, creamy dressing that must have had mayonnaise in it. I never learned to make it, so I can't be sure, but I always loved it. Some years ago, I found a significantly lightened version with no mayonnaise, but all the best flavor elements of that original salad.

I've adapted that recipe, probably making it more caloric, but with only a teeny bit of mayonnaise. You'll hardly know it's there, but the dressing has a little more body to it than a vinaigrette. I also swapped out the raisins for dried cranberries, which we love around here. They make the salad less sweet and a little more perky and their chewiness contrasts with the crunchy broccoli. The smoky, salty bacon rounds out the cast. Everything is better with bacon. (Leave it out if you don't "do" bacon. The salad will still be great.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a couple more broccoli recipes to try. I'm choppin' broc-o-lay, choppin' broc-o-lay...

Sweet and Tart Broccoli Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

2 slices bacon
1/4 cup chopped almonds
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 cups broccoli florets
¼ cup thinly-sliced red onion
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain and cool. Crumble or chop.

2. Place the almonds in a small pan on medium-low heat. Shake the pan or stir frequently until the nuts are beginning to brown, 3-5 minutes (but watch carefully, since they can burn quickly). Remove from heat and cool

3. Combine vinegar, sugar, and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Whisk very well to blend completely.
4. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss well to coat.

Makes about 4 servings

1 comment:

  1. I remember going through a store with rather nasty notes informing people who broke off the stems of the broccoli and just checking out with the florets that they would be charged at a higher rate - because people were just breaking off the stems and leaving them in produce, as if the next person might buy them! (This was before broccoli slaw.)