Sunday, October 7, 2012

Broccoli, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Salad

I really stepped it up with my lunch salad this weekend. Typically, at least one meal on both Saturday and Sunday is a main course salad for me, consisting of fresh or dried fruit, nuts, and cheese. I mix it up a lot, depending on what I happen to have around and strikes my fancy, and I never tire of it. This weekend I happen to have some leftover roasted broccoli, which conjured up memories of one of my signature dishes as a child, Broccoli Bacon Salad. I was no kid gourmand, but I could always be counted on to make Broccoli Bacon Salad or Parmesan Potato Pie for a holiday or family gathering. The broccoli in that dish was not roasted, but it started me thinking about how much I love the combination of broccoli, raisins, sunflower seeds, and bacon in that salad. With that recipe safely hidden away in a cookbook at my parents' house, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to adapt those ingredients to a main course salad. And sure enough, that combination still makes my taste buds dance with delight, even better dressed up with a bit of red onion and blue cheese. There's no doubt that there's a lot going on in this salad-smokiness from the roasted broccoli and bacon, sweetness from the raisins, saltiness from the bacon and sunflower seeds, sharpness from the red onion, and a pungent punch from the blue cheese-but it all manages to blend together in perfect harmony. No lightweight in heartiness or flavor, this salad is perfect fuel for raking the yard, picking apples, carving pumpkins, or any other favorite fall pastime.

Broccoli, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Salad
serves 1

2 ounces mixed greens, rinsed and dried
4 ounces broccoli, roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper until browned and tender
2 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1/2 ounce thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
Salad dressing, for serving

1. Spread mixed greens evenly on a large plate, distributing remaining ingredients evenly over the top. Dress with salad dressing of choice, and enjoy!

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