This old-fashioned broccoli salad is all dressed up with Northwest dried Bing cherries, Craisins, walnuts and sun flower seeds. Northwest broccoli salad is a tasty side salad for any summer cook out. Dried Bing cherries are plump and sweet. They add a delicious sweetness to this classic salad.
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I often buy dried Bing cherries in the bulk section of our grocery store. You can also find them packaged at Trader Joe’s or buy Chukar Cherries Northwest Bings online through Amazon. If you’ve ever been to Seattle’s Pike Place Market, you may be familiar with Chukar Cherries. For years you could only get their delicious trail mixes and chocolate covered Bing cherries only at the market. Now through the magic of the Internet, you can order them online.
Bing cherries are the most widely produced sweet cherry in the U.S. and are grown in the Pacific Northwest. Early summer is usually cherry season here and these are a delicious snack.
Broccoli salad is one of those classic salads that you can eat any time of year. It’s a great salad to toss together and bring to a picnic or a family gathering. It goes with just about anything. My husband and I have a bit of a debate about how much dressing we each like on the salad. He prefers a less-dressed salad. I prefer a little more dressing. If you’re not sure, prepare the whole amount of dressing in the recipe. Add about half to three quarter’s the dressing to the broccoli and toss. After a taste test, add more as you feel needed. Store the broccoli salad in the fridge. It can be prepared several hours ahead of time if necessary. The amounts of dried fruit, nuts and sun flower seeds provided in the recipe are also a guideline. Add more to your tastes as necessary.
I love the crunch and texture that the walnuts and sun flower seeds provide in the broccoli salad. If you prefer pecans over walnuts that’s just fine. You can substitute. When preparing the broccoli, make sure it is drenched in ice cold water first. This helps perk up the florets. Cut the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. We prefer the broccoli raw and don’t bother with blanching it. It softens up enough once it’s all dressed in this classic creamy dressing.
The classic creamy dressing in this broccoli salad recipe consists of mayo, sugar, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. This is a great dressing for Cole slaw too. I like the extra flavor that the Dijon adds to the dressing. Everyone knows broccoli is good for you. It’s packed full of vitamins and fiber. So don’t feel too bad about adding in a very flavorful dressing like this.
Do you like broccoli salad? Have you ever had broccoli salad with dried fruit in it? I’d love to hear your comments below.
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Northwest broccoli salad
- Prep time 15 mins
- Cook time 15 mins
- 4 1/2 – 5 cups fresh raw broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Craisins
- 1/2 cup dried Bing cherries
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup sun flower seeds
- 2 tbsp diced red onion
- 3 strips bacon, fried crispy and cut into bite sized pieces
- Plunge or rinse broccoli florets in ice cold water. Shake excess water off. Cut the florets into bite sized pieces. Set aside in a large salad bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Add the remaining other salad ingredients to the broccoli. Add 1/2 to 3/4 of the dressing to the salad and toss. Taste. Add more dressing as needed to taste.