How to Make Broccoli Raisin Salad

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  • Start to Finish: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner

Crunchy and flavorful, broccoli salad combines a vegetable side dish and a salad into one package. Blanching the broccoli keeps it crunchy but removes the bitterness of the raw vegetable while still giving the salad a satisfying crunch. Adding condiments, such as raisins, toasted walnuts and red onions, gives the dish hints of sour and sweet tastes that deepen its flavor and complexity.

Tip

  • Choose broccoli heads with crisp-looking, tightly packed florets without any yellowing and store in plastic in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Tip

  • Never use thawed, frozen broccoli for your salad -- you'll end up with a mushy-textured salad instead of one with a fresh, crisp consistency.

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, cut into 1/2-inch florets and pieces
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup  thinly sliced red onion
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts or sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of seedless grapes, optional

Cook the Broccoli

Prepare a large bowl with water and ice cubes to cool the broccoli after it finishes cooking.

Steam or boil the broccoli for about 2 minutes, until it's slightly undercooked and short of the crisp-tender stage.

Drain off the cooking water or scoop out the broccoli with tongs and plunge it immediately into ice water to stop it from cooking any further.

Once it's completely cool, after 1 to 2 minutes, remove the broccoli and dry it with a clean dishtowel.

Assemble the Salad

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and stir them completely until they're all evenly moistened with the mayonnaise.

Add more mayonnaise if the salad appears too dry and more raisins, nuts or onions if you would prefer more of those ingredients.

Add seedless grapes, sliced in half, to make eating easier, give the salad more moisture and add sweetness.

Serve broccoli salad when you want a refreshing summer vegetable dish with lots of texture to contrast with silky poached chicken or fish.

Tip

  • For broccoli salad with an Asian-inspired profile, adapted from the broccoli salad at Health.com, replace the mayonnaise dressing with a vinaigrette made with sesame oil, rice-wine vinegar and a tablespoon of lime juice, and add minced garlic and a dash of Asian hot sauce.

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