It is football season, which means it is Tailgating/BBQ/GameDay Party Season. I really think autumn is the best of the seasons and the return of football is just one of the reasons. Many of my friends and I are die-hard FSU fans, bleeding Garnet and Gold ,and we get together pretty frequently to have BBQs and Game Day parties.
I like to make this Broccoli Salad every so often, and it’s always a hit. You get sweet and savory all in one, with a dose of veggie vitamins! And how can you not love a side dish with bacon as a primary ingredient?
The secret here is maple bacon. Wowza.
As a hint, the best way to make the crispiest bacon… in the oven. It is crispy, evenly cooked, hands free and no fuss. I set the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil. Usually you can fit a package of the bacon on a large sheet pan, you might just need to squeeze the slices in a little.
This Broccoli Salad is my take on the classic. With just a couple of twists on the ingredients, I think I’ve made a pretty rockin’ dish.
The key…maple bacon and craisins. Yes, maple bacon! If you haven’t tried it you should.
I was given some bacon to sample from Burgers’ Smokehouse, and they have an excellent Maple Bacon you should check out! It would work perfectly with this recipe.
- 2 Heads Broccoli
- 3/4 Cup Freshly Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 3/4 Cup Craisins
- 1 lb. Maple Bacon
- 1 Cup Dukes Mayo
- 3 Tablespoons Raw Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- Salt & Pepper
- To make the crispiest bacon--preheat oven to 350.
- Line a large sheet pan with foil. Arrange the slices of bacon evenly on the sheet pan and place in preheated oven. Rotate the pan after 10 min. Cook about 20 minutes or until desired crispiness has been achieved, remove from the oven, set aside.
- Line a plate with paper towel and place an even layer of the bacon to absorb the grease. Top with another layer of paper towel and so on, until all of the bacon is drained.
- Chop broccoli into one inch pieces and place in large mixing bowl. Shred cheddar cheese.
- Once the bacon has cooled, crunch it up in to bits. If it is crispy enough it should just crumble, if need be chop into small pieces.
- Add the craisins and the bacon and top with half of the dressing. Stir and distrubute, then add remainig dressing. Toss and make sure all ingredients are evenly coated.
- Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
- Can be made a day ahead.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the mayo and sugar and stir. Whisk in the vinegars and honey, then the salt and pepper to taste. Blend with whisk until evenly distributed and sugar has disolved. If it is too thick add a splash more vinegar, if it is too thin- add a bit more mayo.