1/2 cup Craisins or golden raisins
1/2 cup fruit juice (such as orange or apple juice)
Salad Dressing (see recipe below)
Water (for cooking broccoli)
3 strips bacon, cooked until crisp
1/2 cup lightly-salted whole cashews
1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces*
1/4 cup very finely-diced red onion
* Select a broccoli bunch that is dark green with tightly closed flowerets. The stalks should be firm, without leggy branches. The buds should be tightly closed and the leaves crisp. Also the stronger broccoli smells, the older it is. Refrigerate, unwashed, in a plastic bag, for up to four days.
In a small bowl, add Craisins or raisins and the fruit juice; let soak together for 30 minutes. After soaking, drain, and set aside.
Prepare Salad Dressing and set aside if immediately making the Broccoli Salad.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, add enough water to cook the broccoli. Heat water to boiling, toss in broccoli pieces and blanch for approximately 2 minutes or until broccoli turns a brilliant dark green. Be sure to cook broccoli quickly, since long cooking not only makes it soft and flavorless, but also destroys it's rich nutrients.
Immediately remove from the boiling water and plunge into ice water. As soon as the broccoli cools, remove from and water, and drain well.
In a large serving bowl, place the drained Craisins or raisins, cooked bacon, cashews, red onion, cooked broccoli, and prepared Salad Dressing; gently mix. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if desired.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) sour cream
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) pure maple syrup
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
In a small bowl, add mayonnaise, sour cream, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and vinegar; whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside while you make the Broccoli Salad.
The Salad Dressing my be made in advance; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Makes approximately 1/2 cup.