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This recipe for the best ever broccoli salad is slightly altered from one posted by Martha Carey in a former site from Panama, "La Cocina Paraiso"  (The Paradise Kitchen).  It's a healthy dish, full of vitamins and antioxidants.  I won't try to persuade you that it's better than ice cream, but given the choice, I might choose this scrumptious salad.

Broccoli Salad 

1 bunch broccoli
1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
3 slices bacon
1/4 small red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup raisins

Dressing:

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup reduced-fat or lite mayonnaise or salad dressing, such as Miracle Whip   (Note #1:)   
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch celery seed
(optional)

Cut off the broccoli heads, and separate into small florets.  Discard stems or save to use for Broccoli-Cabbage Slaw or Broccoli Stem Pickled Pennies.

Steam in a microwave for 3 minutes.  Bite a piece.  It should be crispy-tender and bright green.   Nuke for 1 minute more if required. (Note #2:)    Dump immediately into icy cold water to stop the cooking process.  Remove into a colander and set aside to drain.

Put cooking oil in a skillet. (Note #3:)  Chop bacon into tiny cubes and sauté on medium heat until crispy.  Drain and spread onto a paper towel to blot more grease.  (You may fry bacon whole if you wish, drain, cool and then crumble fine.)

Make up the dressing.  Add the chopped onion, crumbled bacon and raisins to the dressing and mix well.   

If you have a salad strainer, spin broccoli to remove more water.  Place broccoli in a bowl, pour dressing over it and mix lightly.  Refrigerate for 3 hours or more to chill and develop the flavors.  This salad will keep well in the refrigerator for three days.


Note #1:  You may use fat-free mayonnaise or salad dressing, but it will affect the flavor.

Note #2:   You may also steam in a basket if you wish.   DO NOT cook broccoli until limp and/or moss green.  It will taste terrible!

Note #3:   Adding oil does not add calories, because you will be draining it well.  Bacon will crisp up better with some oil in the pan, and when you drain off and blot the oil and bacon grease, you will remove more of the cholesterol than would occur without the added oil.
 

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