Monday, May 7, 2012

Linda's Awesome Broccoli Salad

This is a snapshot of Linda's obsession.
She's a walking encyclopedia of Ohio Valley wildflowers.
This is a shot I took while on an expedition with her and my oldest.
Linda has taken some amazing photographs that put this one to shame.

Just in case you've missed all the Hallmark or Johnson & Johnson commercials this week, this coming Sunday is Mother's Day. In honor of the many special moms in my life, I thought I'd feature some of my favorite recipes that they've shared with me. First up is my mother-in-law Linda.

Linda's staple and most requested dish is her Awesome Broccoli Salad. I added the Awesome. When I first cut gluten from my diet, I was so thankful for that salad. It was the one thing that I could count on to be safe and truly delicious at our family get-togethers. When I called her this evening to ask for the recipe, I had to chuckle. This is it:

Linda's Awesome Broccoli Salad
  • broccoli with stems removed
  • raisins
  • onion (red or white, whatever is on hand)
  • chopped bacon 
  • mayo or yogurt
  • red wine vinegar
  • sweeten to taste
No measurements. No instructions. Some might say that makes it rather difficult. I call it real cooking, something I'm not particularly good at doing. I'm an engineer at heart and get scared if I don't have precise measurements. The trick, she says, is making sure the sauce has the right consistency which should be slightly runny. She also suggested a variation that she's been trying which involves omitting the onion and using craisins and orange zest instead of raisins. (Uh, yeah, that must be attempted!) The best part of this recipe is how easily it should be to make dairy free. Just use veganaise or coconut yogurt in place of the mayo or dairy yogurt.

I feel very blessed to have Linda in my life. She is always quick to open her home to us whenever we return to Kentucky for a visit. I can't imagine the shock it must be to her system to go from a quiet, peaceful country home to a house busy with kids and adults coming and going, but she takes it all in stride and embraces her time with her granddaughters.

Happy Mother's Day, Linda. Thank you for welcoming me into your home and heart. I love you!

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