My family calls this the Christmas version only because we add sweet red bell pepper at Christmas for color.Otherwise we omit the pepper or just use green bell instead.
It is a beautiful salad to serve during the holidays and has the perfect balance between sweet, tart, and texture.We also like to add pumpkin seeds in the Christmas version as opposed to sunflower seeds just because we normally have pumpkin seeds on hand at this time of year.That is totally optional.
Mom and I both love to serve this because it is made in advance.This particular picture happened to be taken just this weekend when we had a lunch buffet to do for one of our Christmas gatherings.
She cut the vegetables and I assembled.Of course when she and I get together in the kitchen we have a difference of opinions and this salad was no exception.
After I had put the salad all together and she tasted, Mom insisted that it did not have enough dressing.I told her it had plenty, it just needed to sit a while. She kept insisting that when we normally made it, we added a little more than what the recipe called for.I finally gave in to her, not being able to convince her otherwise, we added a little more dressing than I KNEW we normally used...The next day after the salad had sat overnight, I asked her when I arrived at her house, "Well how did the salad turn out"? She said "it didt need the additional dressing after all".
So remember when making this brocolli salad, it will seem at first it could use more dressing, but hold off and let it sit.Give it time for all the flavors to mix and give the natural juices times to develop with the dressing, it will be perfect.
Three hours is the minimum amount of time I recommend, but it will hold nicely overnight and then you may serve it the next day.
Jodies Kitchen Broccoli Christmas Salad
1&1/2 pounds fresh brocolli florets
1 cup crasins...dried cranberries
3/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup green onion (scallion) chopped, green and white part
1 large red bell pepper,diced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
6 slices cooked crumbled bacon (optional)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white table sugar
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Assemble salad ingredients in a large bowl.In a smaller bowl mix dressing ingredients.Poor dressing into salad and mix all well.Chill at-least 3 hours to overnight before serving.