Broccoli salad is a perfect salad for me because it is so easy to make and perfect for cookouts, potlucks, picnics, or just meals at home. The flavors all come together beautifully, the balance of sweet & salty, and the crunch, makes this salad extremely popular and disappear quickly. My family eats fresh vegetables when I make this salad which makes me happy!
Broccoli salad evokes memories of summer picnics and dinner by the pool with the grill fired up. We will have broccoli salad, macaroni salad, fresh fruit salad, fresh baguettes, and different cheeses. You can make additions or substitutions to the ingredients based on your preferences or level of fancy you want, which is great – it is so versatile.
If you need to make it the day before, that is no problem. It is fabulous and gets better after a day. It disappears so quickly that I double the recipe and have it for lunch with grilled chicken. Doubling it is also a good idea when serving it at a gathering because people will come back for more.
1 large head of broccoli (5-6 cups)
⅓ cup red onion diced into small pieces
⅔ cup dried cranberries
½ cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. white sugar
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
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In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, and sugar.
Whisk together thoroughly.
Add salt and black pepper to taste. (I like to add a little extra black pepper.)
Cut up the broccoli into small bite-size pieces and add to the mixing bowl.
Add the red onion, dried cranberries, and roasted sunflower seeds.
Toss to coat everything in the dressing.
Let rest in the refrigerator for an hour to overnight.
• I always use the fresh broccoli and I do not blanch it first. If you prefer it blanched, place broccoli in salted boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water until broccoli has cooled, and then dry it well before using.
• Additions and Substitutions:
Substitute plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
Substitute Raisins or Currents for the Cranberries.
Substitute Pine nuts, Toasted walnuts, or Toasted pecans for the Sunflower seeds.
Adding thick shredded cheddar is delicious and for a little fancy flair, Goat cheese or Feta is delicious!
Adding crispy chopped bacon is my family’s favorite.
• Make Ahead: It is best to have broccoli salad within 3 days of making for the best texture. The flavors are actually better the day after making but after a few days, the sunflower seeds begin to get a little mushy. It is still fine to eat – as long as it has been refrigerated – just check the texture!