In this simple broccoli salad recipe, broccoli is tossed with bacon, dried cranberries, red onion and a zesty dressing made with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar. For the bacon, we recommend baking it instead of cooking it on the stovetop — it is more hands-off that way. If you are not so sure about adding bacon, try substituting with a roasted or lightly salted nut — try cashews, almonds or peanuts.
4 slices thick-cut bacon
1/4 of a medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 pound broccoli (1 medium bunch)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup mayonnaise, try our homemade mayonnaise recipe
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Cook the bacon until crisp (see note below). Chop into small pieces.
Add onion to a small bowl and cover with warm water. Leave for 10 minutes then drain. This tones the raw onion flavor a little.
Meanwhile, separate the broccoli crowns from their thick stem. Remove the woodiest part of the stem — usually 1/2-inch from the bottom — and discard (or save for stock). Chop the remaining part of the stem into bite-size chunks. (If the stem is really hardy, use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer and then chop). Snap the florets from the broccoli crown and pull them apart so that they are bite-size. Rinse broccoli then pat or spin dry.
Drain the red onion and toss with the broccoli, bacon, and cranberries in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, mustard, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper together. Taste for acidity and seasoning then adjust.
Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the broccoli and onion and mix well. If the salad seems dry, add a little more of the dressing. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving or keep refrigerated (it should last 2 to 3 days, but we never have been able to keep our hands off of it for that long).