A few days ago, I told my husband, after all the sugar, butter, and chocolate of my cookie baking marathon, I had strong cravings for vegetables. The next day, I hit the produce department heavily. I bought sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, artichokes, broccoli, green beans, red new potatoes, three kinds of onions, carrots, celery, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash. I also bought my bag of dried blackeye peas for New Year's, but held off on the collard greens until closer to time.
At the same time, I had been thinking about Melynda's Culinary Smackdown, for which the December ingredient is raisins. Melynda asked me to submit my favorite raisin recipe. First, I had to decide what my favorite raisin recipe is. Ultimately, I decided it is Rice Pudding, but after the aforementioned baking, I could not even think about making anything sweet.
That is when I came up with the idea of making my Mother's Broccoli Salad. I don't know where she got the recipe, and there are many similar recipes out there, but this is how we make it. Plunging the broccoli into boiling, salted water for 60 seconds only, takes the raw broccoli taste away and turns it a vibrant green color, without actually cooking it.
Mama's Broccoli Salad
1 head fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup toasted pecans
10 slices bacon
Cut bacon into bite size pieces, and cook until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Put broccoli into a pot of boiling, salted water for 60 seconds only. (The water will not even come back to a boil). Pour broccoli into a colander and immediately rinse with plenty of cold water. Place on clean kitchen towels to dry.
Toss together, in a salad bowl, the broccoli, onions, and raisins. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, mayonnaise, and vinegar. Pour over the broccoli mixture and stir well to coat. Refrigerate for an hour or more.
Before serving, sprinkle salad with pecans and crisp bacon.