You’re about to read a recipe that I’m going suggest that you take it with you to a Memorial Day weekend party. But before you read that, I’d like you to stop and take a moment to think about why we have this three day weekend. Yes, for many it marks the first day of summer, but the real purpose of Memorial Day is to honor those who died while serving in our military fighting for our country. Those individuals who gave that ultimate sacrifice deserve at least a moment of our time to stop and remember what they did for us. Maybe you do this by attending a ceremony in the local cemetery, or attending a parade, or maybe it’s just pausing for a moment of silence at the cabin to think about what those before you have sacrificed.
When my Grandma & Grandpa Forsman were still alive, they were both active participants in Ely’s Memorial Day service. A day or two before Memorial Day, we would go with my grandmother to plant flags on the graves of all the veterans buried in the Ely cemetery. For many years my grandfather, a Marine, was the American Legion Commander and he would lead the service at the cemetery, and today my uncle is still a regular contributor to those services playing Taps. No matter what you do this Memorial Day, please remember why we are off work today.
And now on to the recipe! There is a place in Prior Lake, MN called Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club. We like to go there to shoot sporting clays – they have 5 different courses each with several different stands. It’s a fun place to go to get ready for hunting season or just have fun shooting. It’s especially fun because lately, I’ve been winning.
My favorite time to go is on the weekends for brunch. We can go shooting and then head up to their amazing brunch buffet. The first time that we went there for brunch they served a cold broccoli salad that Derek just fell in love with.
In fact, he liked it so much that I decided I needed to find a recipe to make at home. I finally settled on this recipe and just added a little shredded cheddar. This would be a great recipe to bring to a Memorial Day party, it’s a nice veggie filled twist on the standard pasta salads you typically see. It’s filled with broccoli (obviously), red grapes, red onion, a sweet and tangy mayo and topped with bacon and sunflower seeds.
Here’s what you need:
First you’re going to want to cook up about 8 slices of bacon. I like to bake bacon, but you can cook it any way you want and then break, crumble or chop it into small pieces.
Then start on the dressing. Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, and some black pepper. Then stir in a little bacon, about one slice.
Mix together the remaining bacon and some sunflower seeds.
In a large bowl mix together some broccoli pieces, diced red onion, halved red grapes, and some finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Stir the dressing together with the broccoli mixture, gently folding.
Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
Just before serving, top with the bacon and sunflower seed mixture.
You can prep this the night before, by keeping the dressing and the veggie mixture separate. This is what I did last time. Just combine the veggies and dressing a couple hours before you want to serve it.
- 8 slices bacon
- ⅓ c sunflower seed kernels
- 1 c mayo, I used Hellman’s light
- 3 T apple cider vinegar
- 2 T white sugar
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 large head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
- ⅓ c red onion
- 1 c red grapes, halved
- ¼ c finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Bake 8 slices of bacon until crispy. Chop into small pieces.
- Mix approximately all but 1 slice of bacon in with the sunflower seeds.
- Whisk together, mayo, cider vinegar, white sugar, and black pepper. Stir in remaining bacon.
- In a large bowl combine, broccoli, onion, grapes, and cheddar cheese. Gently fold in dressing.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours for flavors to meld.
- Top with bacon-sunflower seed mixture before serving.