Much of my life can be chronicled by food.
I fell in love with Big Daddy over a pan of leftover rice and tomatoes at some diner in West Virginia. A lemon cake introduced me to the world of competitive cooking. And the first time I had broccoli salad, I got fired from my volunteer job.
Without going into too much detail, when I was in my early twenties, I was less than politically correct when I asked a client a reasonable question over lunch. I didn’t mean anything by it; I just didn’t understand the point of his tirade, especially when I as trying to enjoy the bacon-studded broccoli salad brought in by a local sandwich shop. Who knew that raisins and broccoli were a match made in heaven?
Well, the director of the program didn’t appreciate my candor and got all up in arms, and I was kindly asked to turn in my security badge and leave the building.
I was a little put out by the whole episode, because I couldn’t figure out why everyone was so upset over a simple question. I wasn’t finished with my lunch, and I really wanted seconds of that broccoli salad on the back table. They wouldn’t even let me wrap up my plate so I could take it home.
I learned three things that day:
1. You can actually get fired from a job that’s not paying you.
2. Some people are too sensitive and get offended way too easily over insignificant things.
3. Broccoli salad is delicious!
Let me know when you make this recipe. Take a picture and hashtag it #QUEENCITYKITCHEN. I can’t wait to see what you post!
Makes 10 servings
6 ounces thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 pound broccoli florets (about 6 cups)
⅔ cup raisins
⅓ cup chopped red onion
⅓ cup sunflower kernels
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon coarse-ground pepper
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon on a paper-towel lined plate.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When the broccoli is cooled, drain and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add the bacon, raisins, onions and sunflower kernels.
Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.