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This is one my favorite simple summer sides for all of the following reasons:
- It’s super, duper easy.
- It’s fresh and healthy.
- It’s colorful and pretty.
- It makes everyone love broccoli – and last, but not least…
- It makes me feel less guilty about the giant cheeseburger I’m eating with it.
A light, tangy dressing jazzes up the broccoli, and the cranberries, almonds, red onion, and bacon crumbles add incredible flavor. On top of all of these wonderful things, it is ridiculously easy to throw together and can be made ahead. Are you sold? Okay then, let’s get to it!
What you’ll need to have on hand – 2 or 3 broccoli crowns, bacon, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, red onion, light sour cream, light mayo, white wine vinegar. You’ll also need to grab a little white sugar from the pantry.
First you’ll need to cook the bacon. Are you all bakin’ your bacon yet? I find this to be the cleanest, easiest method. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil and place the bacon on it. Bake it in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or till nicely crisped. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. It works like a dream and the clean up is a breeze. Just throw out the greasy foil, give the pan a quick rinse and you’re done.
You will only need 5 pieces for this recipe but I like to cook the whole package at once and then refrigerate the extra it to reheat in the microwave for breakfast the next morning.
Crumble up 5 pieces of the bacon and set it aside for later.
Chop the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces and rinse them under cold water.
Place the broccoli in a large bowl and add the dried cranberries and chopped red onion.
Mix the dressing ingredients together in small bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Combine it well, until the dressing is totally incorporated and all of the broccoli is lightly coated. I always use light dairy products and make just enough dressing to lightly coat the salad. You can always up the dressing to salad ratio by using less broccoli if you prefer. For me it is all about fresh and light for this one.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours or longer. We’ll add the bacon and almonds just before serving so they won’t get soggy. There’s nothing worse than soggy almonds…bleh!
When you’re ready to serve, top the salad with the crumbled bacon and slivered almonds and mix it well.
So nice next to a steak, a hamburger, chicken, or any old thing you’ve got going on your grill. Fresh and light and just right for a hot summer day!
- 5 slices thick sliced bacon
- 2 or 3 crowns of fresh broccoli cut into bite size pieces (approximately 6 cups)
- 1/3 cup red onion chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup light sour cream
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bacon on a foil lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or till browned and crisp. Transfer cooked bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble and set aside.
- In a large serving bowl, combine the broccoli, onion and dried cranberries. In a small bowl, stir together the light mayonnaise, light sour cream, white wine vinegar, and sugar. Pour over broccoli mixture, and toss until well mixed. Refrigerate for at least two hours or up to six hours.
- When ready to serve, stir in the crumbled bacon and slivered almonds.