Sharing Stories in Bits & Bites

DILL-iscious Broccoli Salad

‘Fess up! I know I am NOT alone here…who else breaks out into a cold sweat when deciding what to bring to a potluck these days? It used to be easy…make your standard dip, grab a bag of chips and off we go! No sweat.

Fast forward to today. First, my entire family wants me to bring something they can eat…’what if there’s nothing we like there?’ Uhm…that’s easy, get less picky or starve! I say quickly in my head, but always take pity on them in the end. Admittedly, there are a LOT of us, so I try to minimize our IMPACT by bringing plentiful dishes that the whole tribe will enjoy.

Next…the other-guest-anxiety sets in. You know, that nut-allergy-gluten-free-dairy-free-vegan-someone-is-allergic-to-every-ingredient-that-I-used anxiety? I am very empathetic to all of these needs and I realize that people will bring foods that they can eat…still. freaks. me. out.

Lastly, my inner-foodie chimes in. I can’t help it, I reaaaalllllyyy want to bring something that people enjoy. I LOVE to cook, not a chef by any means, but when people appreciate the flavours of my little food creations, I do a happy dance to the tune of Pot’s & Pan’s!

In my dreams I invent some elaborate, yet fresh, perfectly presented creation…and then the reality of my insanely busy life sets in and I have to settle, make a dip…grab a bag of chips…NO! I may not be a food genius, but I am a genius at spotting recipes that work and I have generous friends who’ll share those recipes…this is one of those. My lovely friend S. is one of the few wonderful souls who still braved having all eight of us over for dinner, back when we were neighbors.  She often served this delightful salad that EVERY ONE of my children and even the food-picky Hub LOVE. Slowly but surely I am trying to make our food cleaner and less processed. This isn’t easy for me at all, because I really appreciate a good short cut. Sadly, I’ve started to weep at the crap they are putting in our food, so I’m motivated! I’ll give you the ‘home-made’ recipe first & then the ‘quick and easy’ trick too.Everybody deserves a free-pass now and then.

DILL-iscious Broccoli Salad

  • 4-5 cups broccoli, finely chopped
  • 3 cups red seedless grapes, cut in half
  • 1 pkg (250g) greek feta…or whatever feta you fancy!
  • 1 small pkg of GOOD bacon,  chop, fry & strain (I like Harvest) or local stuff
  • ½ cup fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 2 pkg fresh dill, leafy ends…guess what? yes,  finely chopped
  • 1 cup organic Greek yogurt (Mmm… Oikos)
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 4 tblsp dill pickle brine (juice in the pickle jar)
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

This is an awesome make ahead salad, it’s much tastier after all the ingredients mingle and get to know each other better. Start with the dressing, throw one pack of chopped dill, the sour cream, yogurt, pickle brine, garlic, salt and olive oil together…whip it, whip it real good…cover and put in the fridge. Cook your bacon and chop, chop, chop your broccoli and grapes. You can’t really use a food processor for this, so I use my ORGANIC food processors…my children , they chop according to my specifications and ta-dah! All done in no time! Get as much grease off the bacon as you can, put a handful of bacon, grapes & dill aside, then put the remaining broccoli, grapes, chopped dill and bacon in a big mixing bowl, stir it up. Get the dressing, add slowly & gently to your salad, mix well. Crumble and toss the feta into the mix.

Since I am just a wee bit OCD about presentation, I now like to carefully transfer my salad to a pretty bowl that isn’t all gunky with the dressing mix. Then I sprinkle the extra bacon, grapes and chopped dill on top. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge over night…ready for the par-tay tomorrow!  You WILL be asked for the recipe, that’s cool, just send them to my blog, easy for you, good for me. wink.wink.

Truth be told…I don’t recall if S. put bacon in her salad, but honestly…the best recipes evolve, you gotta make them work for you and let me just state for the record…bacon really WORKS for me.

Quick & easy tip: Substitute a jar of Lighthouse Dilly-Dip for the dressing. Sanity Saver? Yessssss!

Enjoy! Tell me how it goes & what you added or changed…love hearing other ideas!

“To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist – the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know how much oil one must mix with one’s vinegar.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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