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Sweet Broccoli Salad

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Sweet Broccoli Salad is a fantastic side dish for just about any meal but it fits perfectly in with grilling and barbecue!

I have to admit that I'm somewhat of a broccoli salad freak as well as a broccoli salad snob. I have some simple rules when it comes to one of my favorite side dishes that I've tried to pass onto a few local deli's. Who would have thought that rules would apply to a simple side dish? But, after you read my list I think you will agree that I have some valid points - even if I have a bit of fun.

Kent's Broccoli Salad Rules!

  • First, broccoli salad should look creamy, not runny. That means I prefer to make my batches as close to meal time as possible.
  • Second, it's OK to have some big and smaller pieces. I shoot for a nice combination of semi-full florets as well as smaller pieces. I always try to include as much of the broccoli as possible including stems. That's where the fine chopping comes in. Nobody wants chunks of stalk the size of a golf ball in their salad!
  • Third, add some stuff! Why stop at broccoli and mayo? Get creative with bonus flavors from added ingredients ranging from other veggies to bacon bits.
  • Lastly, broccoli salad is perfect for trimming calories from a recipe. Low fat mayo, sugar substitutes, low fat cheese, and other items can all be used. Well, if you plan on using fake bacon bits you should add those just before serving. The fake bacon bits tend to puff, get mushy, and even have colors that run.


  • 3 cups broccoli florets crumbled
  • 1 cup fine chopped broccoli stems
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup fine chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons real bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, cover, and chill before serving. Feel free, as always, to change things up a bit.

Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.

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