How to Make Plantation Broccoli Salad

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The Souplantation, called by some simply "Plantation," is a salad bar chain restaurant in the western United States; in other parts of the country, the same restaurant goes by the name "Sweet Tomatoes." Both restaurants in this chain serve a broccoli salad called "Joan's Broccoli Madness." This popular salad can be replicated at home with a few simple ingredients and 15 minutes of your time.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 bunch raw broccoli
  • 2-quart mixing bowl
  • 1/3 cup raisins (see tip)
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts or cashew halves (see tip)
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits, imitation bacon pieces (such as Bacos) or crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1-quart mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • 1/4 cup sugar (see tip)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Thoroughly wash and dry the broccoli. Place the raisins in the 2-quart mixing bowl, and cover them with water.

  • Microwave the raisins and water for 30 to 45 seconds on high. This step is optional, but it plumps up the raisins and makes the salad more appealing.

  • Let the raisins sit in the warmed water for 10 minutes, then drain them thoroughly. Add to the bowl the bacon bits, peanuts (or cashews) and chopped red onion.

  • Whisk together the sugar, mayonnaise, and apple cider vinegar in the smaller bowl.

  • Coarsely chop the broccoli into florets. Do this just before tossing the salad with the dressing to prevent the broccoli from turning brown on the cut edges. Add the chopped broccoli to the bowl with the bacon bits, raisins, peanuts and red onion.

  • Toss the salad in the large bowl with the salad dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Cover the salad with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator to meld the flavors for at least 10 minutes before serving chilled.

Tips & Warnings

  • Substitute dried cranberries for the raisins if desired.
  • The original recipe calls for cashew halves, but these can be harder to find and are more expensive than peanuts. Feel free to use cashews if you have access to them. Opt for the salted version to add to the salty sweet taste that makes this salad so popular.
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons additional sugar to the recipe if you would like a sweeter taste. The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup sugar.

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