Friday, October 21, 2011

Brocolli - The Exotic Vegetable

Brocolli is one of my favorite veggies.  There aren't too many ways I have tried fixing it that I haven't liked - grilled, steamed, roasted, pickled - you name it I'll eat it.   Well, when Joe and I were first married, almost 19 years ago, I did steamed brocolli with lemon pepper one evening.  I noticed that Joe did not take any.  Me, being the loving, newlywed said, '"What's wrong with you?  Don't you like brocolli?"  Joe's response was.  "I'm not used to exotic vegetables."  I replied, "There's nothing exotic about brocolli - it grows all over the place!"  Thus began my mission in our marriage to get Joe to like brocolli. 

For a long time the only way Joe would eat brocolli was cooked with lots of cheese sauce.  I mean so much cheese sauce that you would need to look for the lonely floret of brocolli swimming in the sauce.  After MANY years and recipes Joe conceded that brocolli was an ok vegetable and he would eat it most ways I prepared it.  Then one day I found a recipe in a farm magazine for a brocolli salad that had bacon as an ingredient.  As far as Joe is concerned bacon is one of the main food groups.  So, I tried the recipe and Joe loved it.  This is now a standard recipe for my guys lunches during fall field work, as well as for picnics and potlucks. 

Here is the recipe as printed in the Iowa Farmer Today years ago.  I have made several modifications to this recipe to fit Joes likings and those appear after the official recipe.

Brocolli/Cauliflower Salad

1 bunch brocolli
1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup green onions chopped
1/2 cup raisins
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 T sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
1T vinegar

Chop brocolli and cauliflower into small pieces.  In a small bowl, combine mayo, vinegar and sugar.  Pour over veggies.  Fold in remaining ingredients.  Best if refrigerated over night.  

I have made a few modifications to this recipe to make it Joe friendly.  We had to take the cauliflower out.  According to Joe there is something wrong with a vegetable that grows in the sun and is still white.  I use 3 to 4 bunches of brocolli instead of the cauliflower but I do not increase the dressing amount as we (meaning Joe) don't want soggy brocolli. The raisins always get doubled and the bacon amount depends upon if Joe or the boys are around.  (They snitch the bacon as it cools.)  I typically use golden raisins as those are Joe's favorite.  My mother-in-law spoiled this guy way too much.


  1. Ha! I've been having the same struggle with my husband lately. I'm trying to get us both to eat more vegetables (we call it "eating our vitamins"). I made roasted cauliflower the other day, and he couldn't stand it! I've been making this same broccoli salad, too, and he really likes it.

  2. Teresa-
    So is it the bacon or raisins that appeal to him? I did roasted cauliflower with olive oil and a few herbs a few weeks ago. I loved it and Joe turned up his nose after 1 tiny bite. Go figure!