Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quick Bacon, Broccoli & Raisin Salad

Broccoli salad with golden raisins, smoked bacon, toasted pine nuts and creamy balsamic dressing.

2 large heads broccoli
6 slices bacon, preferably applewood-smoked
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
1 small red onion, diced small
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Shaved ricotta salata cheese (optional)

BOIL a large pot of salted water.

ADD a head of broccoli and cook about 1 minute. Immediately remove and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Repeat with the other head of broccoli.

CUT the broccoli into bite-size pieces; leave the small florets intact, and quarter larger ones.

COOK and chop the bacon, reserving the fat.
WHISK the bacon fat, mayonnaise, balsamic vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Add a little water if the dressing is too thick.

TOSS the broccoli, onions and raisins in a large bowl with the dressing. SPRINKLE with the pine nuts right before serving.

Note: The salad should be made the day of the party as the broccoli tends to lose its crunch and flavor the next day. Source: Chicago Sun-Times' Chef Fred Ramos, Angelina Ristorante

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