seasonal RECIPES for those who love to EAT
2 heads Fresh broccoli
1/2 c. Raisins
3 to 4 pieces Bacon
1/2 c. Almonds; chopped
1/3 c. Crumbled blue cheese
1/4 c. Red onion; minced finely
1 1/2 c. Crème fraiche
3 tbsp. Milk
2 tbsp. Honey
3 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. Fresh basil; finely minced
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg; freshly grated
Prep. Time: 10 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Broccoli and its brethren – Brussels sprouts, cabbage and Bok Choy – grow for a substantial portion of the year, but they are especially welcome glimpses of green in the mix of the muted colors offered by most winter vegetables. Although this salad isn’t necessarily a “cold-weather exclusive,” it is a great change of pace, especially if you’ve been on a mashed vegetable kick. The broccoli is barely steamed, but still crunchy and the dressing brightens everything up with apple and honey flavors, reminiscent of warm days in early fall. This is a great main course or side with your favorite sandwich and it always goes over well at potlucks.
1. Trim broccoli into florets of roughly equal size; remove most of the stems and discard.
Place florets in a large, microwave safe dish; add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of water and cover.
2. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Broccoli should be bright green and slightly tender but not mushy. Drain any remaining water and set aside to cool.
3. Place raisins in a small dish and cover just barely with warm water. Set aside to plump.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until very crisp but not burned. (Alternatively, arrange the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet and cook in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through the time.)
5. Transfer the cooked bacon to a plate lined with a few paper towels to drain. Discard the bacon fat or save for another use.
6. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the crème fraiche, milk and honey. Slowly whisk in the cider vinegar. Stir in the basil and nutmeg.
7. Drain the water from the raisins and add them to the bowl with the dressing, along with the chopped almonds, blue cheese crumbles, and red onion.
8. Crumble the bacon into the bowl with the dressing and gently stir everything together.
9. Pour the dressing mixture over the broccoli florets and toss gently to coat evenly.
10. Serve at room temperature or cover and chill for several hours.
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