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A Perfect Salad for Labor Day: Broccoli Crunch

What are you serving for Labor Day?

When I lived in Colorado Springs, the Whole Foods near our house made this incredible broccoli salad. I thought it was the best thing ever invented, and I was willing to plunk down $7.99 a pound for it. It made me happy.

When I moved away, I was sad, but figured I would at least save a little money. But then, one day, when I was at a pot luck with some girls from church, a great huge bowl of the salad sat on the counter. And it tasted exactly right. I was practically giddy.

When I asked the girl about it, she just brushed it off like she had made it a thousand times instead of paying five bucks for a tiny bowl of it. Apparently it’s a pretty popular salad, and apparently all you have to do it google it and you’ll get a hundred different ways of making it.

This is the perfect kind of salad for Labor Day. It has a lot of interesting flavors, and has things like bacon and cashews—things you might not ordinarily have on hand in the kitchen, so it’s perfect for a special occasion.

This is my recipe, which I have adapted to taste like the one I have have come to know and love.

Broccoli Crunch Salad

1 cup raisins or dried currants (I prefer the currants, but they aren’t carried at all stores)
1 cup fruit juice, such as apple or white grape
5 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
1 cup roasted and salted cashews
1/2 small red onion, very finely sliced
2 pounds broccoli florets, cut into generous bite size pieces
Sweet Dressing (recipe follows)

In a small bowl, cover the raisins (or currants) with the juice and microwave on high for 1 minute. Drain the raisins. Put raisins in a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Toss to coat the florets in the dressing.

Sweet Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (if you don’t have the pure kind, just substitute regular sugar)
pinch of kosher salt and pepper
3 tablespoons cider vinegar

Whisk all ingredients until smooth.

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