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Finding Harmony Recipe of the Week: Basic Broccoli Salad and Additions

March 21, 2014


Do you remember exactly where and when you first tasted certain foods? My lasagna blog post was like that. (Sometime I’ll tell about the scary first time I ever had pizza at a friend’s home, which I could barely eat.)

Broccoli salad was one of those memorable firsts but I liked it immediately. It was my first year out of college and I was living with a roommate, Mary Ellen Witmer, and we drove to Lancaster Pa., to visit one of her long time friends. We had Sunday dinner (I think) at the home of her friend, Joyce (now) Thomas, and she fixed broccoli salad. I don’t remember anything else about that meal but the salad. Weird.

The original recipe which Joyce gave me did not include all the delicious options that the food editors for my book, Whatever Happened to Dinner added, which you’ll see below. (And don’t miss the special drawing I’ll mention at the bottom for a free copy of a different cookbook.)

But the best thing about this recipe is that my husband, while not a big fan of cooked broccoli in general (although he’ll eat it), loves this broccoli salad.

Some guys (gals too?) will eat anything with bacon in it, right? Unless that’s not your thing, and this is perfectly good if you’ve of any vegetarian bent, without a sniff of bacon. There are of course lots of other variations on the web–I’m linking to this one because this cook remembers the first time she tasted broccoli salad too. As others have pointed out, this salad has crunch, sweet, sour, nutty, and cool crispness.

I love this as a good basic alternative to tossed salad or cole slaw, my other two go-to’s.

Joyce Thomas’ Broccoli Salad

1 large head of broccoli, or several crowns, chopped (substitute half cauliflower, if you like)
1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries
3 spring onions**, chopped (or ¼ – ½ cup chopped red onion)
4 slices bacon, fried and crumbed (optional)
½ cup chopped pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, or walnuts (optional)


1 cup* salad dressing (I like Miracle Whip best for this—I’m my mother’s daughter)
1-2 tablespoons vinegar (to taste)
¼ cup sugar

Stir dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Best if refrigerated several hours or overnight.
* I would only use 1 cup of salad dressing if it were a very large head of broccoli. As written above, this recipe would serve 8-10 hearty eaters. For a smaller group or family, half all amounts for the dressing part of the recipe, and half the amount of broccoli. All other amounts to your taste.
** Spring onions come in so many sizes, from very very thin, to robust. So of course use your judgement and taste for how much onion to add.


Head on over to the other blog I work with, Mennobytes where we’re sharing the journey of one small family (they have a 6-week-old baby) who are trying to cook through Lent with NO EATING OUT. Here’s the link. They are using the More-with-Less bestselling cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre, originally published the year we got married, 1976. To have your name entered to win a free copy of More-with-Less Cookbook, just comment on THAT blog about any recipe or food that helps YOU cook “more with less.” (Deadline for that drawing is 4 p.m. ET Thur. March 28.)


From → Family Life, Food, Recipes

  1. Athanasia permalink

    I like crunchy vegetable salads. We don’t put the bacon in usually

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