My Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad is known to convert even those who have an intense dislike of broccoli. Everyone needs a good Broccoli Salad in their repertoire and this is one of the best. A generous quantity of broccoli combines with crispy bacon, roasted cashew nuts and dried cranberries. A tangy, creamy dressing coats all the ingredients. The broccoli soaks up the bright flavours of the dressing, complemented by the roasted cashews which provide great textural contrast. The flavour profile is a delicious balance of salty, sweet and tangy flavours.
This recipe has been gifted to me by the mother of one of my dearest friends. It is a dish that I have enjoyed at their house on several occasions over the years. I was very excited to get the details of it one day, and couldn’t wait to share it with you all.
A few simple ingredients come together in this easy and delicious side dish which is wonderfully tasty.
HOW TO SELECT BROCCOLI AND A LITTLE MORE ABOUT IT:
Always choose heads of broccoli that have tight, green florets and firm stalks. Avoid broccoli with yellowing florets. Soft stems or limp florets are a sign that the broccoli is not fresh. You can store unwashed broccoli in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to a week.
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family. Some other members of this family are cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale. Broccoli enjoys the reputation of being a “superfood” due to its significant health benefitting nutrients. Broccoli is a good source of fibre and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium along with vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid.
To prepare the salad and dressing:
I cut the broccoli florets into bite-size pieces and blanch them briefly so that they remain crisp-tender. Make sure your broccoli pieces are consistent in size; if the pieces vary in size, they will cook unevenly. To the blanched broccoli, I add crispy bacon, roasted cashew nuts, tangy dried cranberries and sliced spring onions. Finally, I coat all the ingredients in a zesty, creamy dressing which is made from mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, celery salt and a little sugar.
Just make sure that you save the broccoli stems; they are perfect when used in my Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw.
The dressing is very simple to make; just combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, whisk together, pour over the salad ingredients and toss them well to combine.
My Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad is a perfect side dish for meat, poultry or fish. It’s a great addition to a barbecue and being a robust salad it travels well so it is ideal to take to a pot-luck party. Alternatively, it makes a delicious, light lunch.
Other salads which you may enjoy are:
- Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
- Thai Inspired Prawn Salad
- Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Thai Vermicelli Noodle Salad
- Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
- Pumpkin, Cranberry and Almond Salad
- Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad
- Char-Grilled Zucchini Salad
- Potato Salad with Peas and Mint
I do hope that you try this Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad. In essence, this salad is the perfect balance of crunchy, creamy, sweet and savoury.
Please let me know in the comments below if you make the salad.
Enjoy! Alex xx
Broccoli, Bacon and Cranberry Salad
My Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad has been known to convert even those who have
an intense dislike of broccoli. Everyone needs a good Broccoli Salad in their
repertoire and this is one of the best. A generous quantity of broccoli
combines with crispy bacon, roasted cashew nuts and dried cranberries. A tangy,
creamy dressing coats all the ingredients. The broccoli soaks up the bright
flavours of the dressing, complemented by the roasted cashews which provide great textural
- 1 large head of broccoli stem removed *
- 2 bacon rashers
- 2 spring onions/scallions finely sliced on diagonal
- 1/3 cup unsalted roasted cashew nuts
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise good quality whole egg
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp celery salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Put a large saucepan of water on the stove, and bring to the boil.
Remove the stem from the broccoli. *
Remove the florets from the broccoli.
Cut the florets into bite size pieces. Prepare a bowl of iced water and set aside.
Add the florets to the boiling water, and cook for a couple of minutes, or until just cooked. Remove and put the florets into the iced water to stop the cooking process and seal the green colour.
Once cool, remove and drain well. I let the florets try on a little kitchen towel or a tea towel to ensure excess moisture is removed.
Trim the rind and excess fat from bacon. Cut your bacon into bite size pieces and fry until crispy.
Prepare your other ingredients – chop your spring onion, halve the cashew nuts and measure the cranberries.
Shortly before serving, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Check your seasoning. Enjoy!
* Although I do not use the stem in the salad, I don’t discard it! I recommend you try my Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw or enjoy the stem with dips. (Peel first!) It is so delicious!
* The salad is best served the day it is made. You can prepare all of the elements in advance, however, and then dress the salad shortly before it is served.
* The original recipe was three times the quantities shown here – so you can easily double or triple the recipe if you want a big serve for a party. (It is always popular!)
* Australian tablespoons are 20 ml.
*Adding the broccoli to the iced water ensures that the broccoli does not continue to cook and helps it retain a bright, green colour.
*After removing the broccoli from the iced water it is important to drain the broccoli well. If water remains on the broccoli it will dilute the dressing and thus reduce the flavour. After draining the broccoli I place it on a clean kitchen towel to dry further.
*It is important to chill the dressing