Broccoli Salad for a Crowd

Broccoli is an interesting vegetable to grow. First of all you are eating unopened flower buds, which is strange. But what is really neat about it is that after the main harvest of big cauliflower-like heads, nine or so inches in diameter, you get little side shoots for a month or so. You can really get quite a few servings out of the side shoots, and there are plenty of recipes for steamed and roasted broccoli that are great for when you have just a few servings worth to cook.

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This recipe, however, is for that first exciting harvest, when you have a lot.

It is adapted from a Trisha Yearwood recipe that I copied out of a library book. It is very good.

You will need:

1/2 lb. of bacon

2 lbs of broccoli florets, raw

1 cup mayonnaise

1 T. apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/3 cup chopped red onion

3/4 cup raisins

Directions:

1. Cook the bacon, drain on paper towels. When cool, crumble and set aside.

2. Mix the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar to make a dressing. Add the chopped onion and raisins.

3. Gently fold in the broccoli.

4. Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours.

5. Fold bacon in just before serving.

Best eaten the day it is made.

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(I served it with Rachel sandwiches for an easy, no cook meal.)


Greek Pasta Salad

(Hi to anyone coming over from Lisa’s Discovery Tour!  And thank you to Lisa for including me! I’m Katie and my blog is mostly about homemaking: to include cooking, gardening, decorating, organizing, and frugality.  I share recipes, but only our favorites that we make over and over.  This is one of them!)

May is the beginning of cookouts and pool parties, especially with Mother’s Day, college graduations, and Memorial Day on the calendar, and I am always looking for a good side dish to share.  This pasta salad is filling but not too heavy, and is a definite crowd pleaser.  I came up with the recipe trying to copy an expensive pasta salad that we used to buy all the time.  It is what I am most frequently asked to bring to parties.

You will need:

for the dressing:

1 cup olive oil

2 1/2 t. garlic powder

2 1/2 t. dried oregano

2 1/2 t. dried basil

2 t. salt

2. t. black pepper

2 t. onion powder

2 t. dijon mustard

1 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

for the rest:

1 box of mini penne pasta

1 can of black olives

1 green pepper finely sliced

1 small red onion finely sliced

6 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1.  Cook the pasta to al dente in boiling, lightly salted water.  Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing EXCEPT the red wine vinegar.  Add the vinegar last, while whisking quickly to combine.
  3. In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta and dressing together, then add the olives, green pepper, red onion, and crumbled feta.
  4. Cover and chill at least four hours.

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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Cream

It is still wintery here, gray and cool, even though we are getting plenty of eggs and wildflowers. The fire continues, although this might be its last day of the season.  (I feel like I have thought that at least five times this spring.)

 

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Here is a recipe for when nothing springy is ready in the garden yet:

(This is my sister-in-law’s recipe, and my favorite vegetable of all time.  It is somewhat labor intensive as far as sides go, so best to make with a main dish that is in the oven, like a roast chicken or something that is more hands off.)

You will need:

8 slices of bacon

2 lbs of brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

3/4  cup of heavy cream

3/4 cup chicken stock or broth

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

  1.  Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Leave at least 3 tablespoons of dripping in the skillet.
  2. Turn up the heat until almost smoking, and add the cut sprouts.  You want to them to brown and caramelize.  Stir while they cook, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, salt and pepper, and reduce the heat.  Cover to let them soften for about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the cover once they are tender, and add the whipping cream.  Let the cream reduce and thicken, and keep stirring.  They should not look “creamy”.
  5. Crumble the bacon on top and serve.

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