Cranberry Almond Broccoli Salad


This delicious salad goes together easily and quickly and is an ideal side dish to burgers or steaks.  Our thanks goes out to Amanda Batcher, The Chunky Chef, for sharing it on Pinterest. More of her recipes can be found on her website, www.thechunkychef.com.

Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups fresh Broccoli, cut into small florets (about 2 heads of broccoli)
5 slices center cut Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup Red Onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup dried Cranberries
1/2 cup sliced Almonds
1/3 cup roasted Sunflower seeds
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into very small cubes (or shredded if you prefer)

Creamy Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing
Directions:
2/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
Zest of 1 small Lemon
Zest of 1/2 Orange
1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
Pinch of Black Pepper

Directions:
1. Bring a pot of water to boil.  Chop broccoli into very small florets and set aside.  Fill a large bowl with cold water and a cup of ice cubes.
2. Add a generous pinch of salt to boiling water and add broccoli.  Boil for 20 seconds.  Drain broccoli and transfer to prepared bowl with ice water.
3. Let broccoli sit in cold water for a few minutes, until cool.  Drain and lay broccoli out onto some paper towels to drain.  Allow to continue air drying while you prepare other parts of the recipe.
4. To a small mixing bowl, add Poppy Seed Dressing ingredients, then whisk together until smooth and combined.  Set aside.
5. Add finely chopped red onion to a small bowl of cold water and let sit 5 minutes, then drain.  This takes some of the “bite” out of the raw onion.
6. To a large mixing bowl, add dried broccoli florets, bacon, drained raw onion, cranberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, and cheddar cheese.
7. Toss with Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing (start with about half the dressing, and increase to your liking).
8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Toss and serve.

*(Note: Letting the broccoli salad sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more allows the flavors to really combine. It can also be made up to 24 hours in advance.)

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