Confession: I don’t like mayonnaise. I also don’t like ranch dressing, bleu cheese dressing, sour cream (just to name a few) in case you were wondering. Oh, and I don’t like spiders or snakes or the sound of our baby grinding his teeth or the pain that is moving houses. Now you know way too much about me! Let’s get back to mayonnaise, as I do have a point: when things like mayonnaise are magically transformed into things like a truffle aioli, or used to make our Chipotle Dipping Sauce, or heck – even used to form a crust on something like roasted salmon or chicken, I’m game. For those of you who can eat mayo with a spoon, or used to have it slathered on sandwiches (or slather it now into lettuce wraps), or for those who love some chicken or broccoli to go with your mayonnaise salad, good for you.
You see, to me, mayonnaise should serve as the glue…or as the accent piece…but should not be the main event. For me, it has to have some other flavors in there, like how in our Chicken Salad Salad recipe in our first book, we combined mustard with the mayo to make things taste (in my opinion) way better.
Which brings me to Broccoli Salad. This is one of those dishes you’ll very commonly see at potlucks in the South. I’m curious though: is this salad a staple where you live? How many of you have never tried Broccoli Salad? When I have tasted this salad at gatherings, I’ve often thought to myself that it would taste sooooooo much better a.) without so much mayonnaise (very often that’s my thought with mayonnaise-y salads) and b.) without added sugar. Yes, you see, most commonly you’ll find recipes for this salad with sugar added. Yup, sugar to go with your broccoli. I think you’ll agree that especially given the sweetness of the raisins, sugar just isn’t needed.
Here in the South, if you’re headed to a Labor Day potluck or picnic, chances are you’ll see this Broccoli Salad in some shape or form. There are so many ways in which you can modify this salad to your own liking. You can add the Southerner’s favorite nut, pecans. Swap the red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for balsamic, or opt for sweet Vidalia onions instead of red onions. Do whatever makes you happy as you lend your own signature to this dish!