It's ironic that broccoli is coming to midwestern farm markets on former president George H. W. Bush's birthday, but for those of us who enjoy eating what appears to be tiny trees, the first broccoli harvest is something to anticipate. Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family. The stem and unopened flowers (florets) are the edible parts. Fresh broccoli should be a deep green; when it begins to turn yellow, it is getting too old to taste good.
Broccoli can be eaten raw or used to fill any number of casseroles or side dishes. The following broccoli salad is a jumble of colors, flavors and textures. Broccoli, bacon and French's fried onions provide crunch, red wine vinegar gives it a little tang, and shredded cheese and mayonnaise follow up with creaminess. This salad can be eaten on its own or as a companion to a light meal of chicken or fish.
2 c. raw broccoli florets
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/2 c. French's fried onions
1 c. mayonnaise
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
Combine the broccoli, cheese and bacon bits. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate. Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, red wine vinegar and sugar, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over salad and toss; top with French's fried onions. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving, and refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 6.