I’m not really sure what makes this broccoli salad “Amish,” but I definitely associate with with Midwestern potluck dinners, cookouts, and supper club salad bars. It seemed like the perfect accompaniment to the inaugural grilling of bratwurst on our new (all stainless!) grill. We were not sad to see the old grill go, though D might have been a little sad that the slightly less than helpful directions for assembling the the new grill, our empty propane tank, and the rainy weather meant we didn’t have a chance to use it on our three day holiday weekend last week.
There are many versions of this raw broccoli salad, some using cauliflower along with the broccoli, or adding cheese or sour cream to the ingredients. The version my mom makes is very simple, and at first glance its hard to see how the few ingredients can come together to create something so delicious. The salad tastes best if allowed to sit, refrigerated for about 4 hours for the flavors to soak into the broccoli, but I have successfully made and served this in less time.
The original recipes is below, but I’ve noted where we’ve adapted the dish to more modern times. This is an easy dish to make vegetarian or vegan by leaving out the bacon or using a bacon substitute and using a “veganaise” mayo made without eggs. Vegetarian versions might also benefit from chopped smoked nuts in place of the bacon.
Amish Broccoli Salad
Makes enough for a crowd. You can halve the recipe for a more manageable version.
2 bunches of broccoli, about 2.25 pounds
1 large red onion, sliced thin
1/3 cup of raisins (Mom uses golden raisins)
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (I use pumpkin seeds and/or hemp seeds)
cooked bacon, about 4-5 slices, crumbled (Optional)
1 cup mayonnaise (“Veganaise” works great)
1/4 cup sugar (or other equivalent sweetener. I use other options.)
2 Tablespoons of cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Mix the dressing ingredients together. Chop broccoli tops into bite sized florets. Chop the tender stem parts. Peel the tough fibrous outer part of the stems and chop the inner parts to use as well. (Or, you can save the stems for use in a stir fry.) Add onions, seeds, raisins, and bacon, if using. Mix well and let sit for about 4 hours before serving.