Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Tomatoes and Chives
“In this house, we eat our broccoli!”
This is something I envision saying to a future child, some day. It is hard to overstate how much this cabbage (yes, this is a cabbage, look it up) is adored in our home. It goes in stir-fries, quesadillas, pies, tacos — well, maybe not tacos, but most importantly, salads! This recipe is something I found while perusing Serious Eats way back when, and ended up being something I liked so damn much I made it twice, two weeks in a row. The first time was better than the second time, but we still enjoyed ourselves immensely the second time around.
The magic in this recipe is the way the still-warm broccoli interacts with the crisp tomatoes, the slightly-chewy bacon, and the bold dressing. I also appreciated how the rendered bacon fat blended with the olive oil to add some further dimension when it all came together. Finally, the chives on top provided a nice zingy finish.
Be careful to only blanch the broccoli for a couple of minutes tops so it stays somewhat firm, and not to overcook the bacon! It should be on the well-done side, but still have a bit of chew. No substitutes here either, like turkey bacon, because you need the fat that only real bacon will render out. Finally, dress the whole salad just before serving so nothing gets soggy and put the chives on top of the serving bowls. Enjoy!
Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Tomatoes, and Chives (Serves 2):
- 1 1/2 lbs. broccoli florets (about 2-3 heads), trimmed and cut into florets
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ matchsticks
- 3 roma tomatoes, halved, de-seeded, and diced coarsely
- 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin (important!) olive oil
- 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Boil 3-4 quarts of water and add a few healthy pinches of kosher salt. Add the broccoli, stir occasionally for 1-2 minutes and then drain and rinse (quickly) with cool water. Do not totally cool down the broccoli. Let drain while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Cook the bacon pieces over low-medium heat until chewy-crisp. Remove bacon and set aside.
- Drain bacon fat into mixing bowl. Add the garlic, mustard, vinegar and whisk like crazy to form a thick emulsion. While whisking, add olive oil in a thin stream until fully incorporated. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place broccoli, tomatoes, bacon and dressing in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine thoroughly. Serve into two bowls, grind more black pepper over each bowl and top with chives. Eat right away and then cry that there’s no more left!