When The Weather's Hot, Look To Broccoli Salad To Cool You Down

As a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is typically enjoyed during the colder months. The soothing taste of takeout-style beef and broccoli or cheesy broccoli are indicative of seeking out something cozy during the chilly weather. But broccoli is tremendously versatile, and there are so many other ways in can be enjoyed.

An offshoot of coleslaw, broccoli salad is a great option, bringing to the table a creamy, crunchy taste. Created by European immigrants who came to the US in the 17th and 18th centuries, broccoli salad is today enjoyed at barbecues, garden parties, and every type of summer party possible. Typically made with chopped broccoli florets, bacon, red onion, sunflower seeds, raisins, and mayonnaise, the dish brings a cool, satisfying taste on a hot summer day.

Since the ingredients scream "barbecue side dish," the salad is often paired with pasta bake or grilled pork chops. Yet, broccoli salad is completely customizable; not every topping is set in stone, giving you the freedom to switch things out however you like.

How to make broccoli salad

When temperatures are high, the last thing anyone wants to do is hover over the stovetop, steaming broccoli. It can be eaten raw, so all that is needed is a simple rinse of the florets with cool water. Blanch the broccoli, if desired, to additionally soften them. Ensure that they're cold, so you can still get the crunch that you're looking for.

If you want to add bacon, cut it into small pieces and cook until crispy. Alternatively, use bacon bits or opt for vegan bacon. Add the broccoli and bacon to a bowl, along with the rest of the ingredients. The desired outcome of broccoli salad is both crisp and creamy, so switching up the ingredients based on accompanying dishes is completely acceptable.

Swap out the red onions for shallots and sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds, or eat it with quinoa as a light, filling dinner. The creamy, tangy dressing, however, remains the same. A combination of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste, mix the dressing in with the salad and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour.