Crunchy broccoli salad

My mom received this recipe about 20 years ago from a family friend and ever since it has always been a favourite.

When I was growing up, I always helped my mom make it for barbeques and parties that we held at our house. It was one of the first few recipes that I asked my mom for when I moved to Queen's.

Crunchy broccoli salad is perfect for parties and I have often brought it to potlucks to share with friends. I have also brought it to work lunches with co-workers. Whenever I bring this dish to a potluck, it’s always devoured and deemed delicious by those who eat it. The salad has a fresh and light taste that makes it a favourite for all ages.

I have always loved eating and trying different kinds of salads, but this one has always been at the top of my list. This broccoli salad is easy to make — it’s a very straightforward, simple recipe that always yields great results.

Preparation time: Approximately 1 hour
Serves: 8-10 people (the recipe can easily be divided into half to serve less)

Ingredients:
- 2 bunches of broccoli flowerets
- ½ cup raisins or currents
- 1 cup of sunflower seeds
- ½ lb. fried crumbled bacon
- 1 purple onion diced
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 cup of cooked and chilled orzo pasta
- 1 cub cubed feta cheese

Dressing:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Directions:
1. Cook orzo pasta in a pot of boiling water until soft. Drain and then put the cooked orzo in a covered container. Place the orzo in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Prepare the following ingredients and then set aside:
a) Rinse and chop the broccoli flowerets into small bite-sized pieces.
b) Dice the purple onion into small pieces.
c) Fry the bacon until crispy and then crumble.
d) Cut the feta cheese into small cubes.
3. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sugar and red wine vinegar. Whisk together these three ingredients until the dressing is smooth. Set aside.
4. Combine the broccoli, raisins/currents, sunflower seeds, crumbled bacon and the diced purple onion in a large bowl.
5. Add the pine nuts, chilled orzo and cubed feta cheese to the broccoli mixture. Toss all the dry ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.
6. Mix the dressing into the dry ingredients until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.
7. Serve.

The broccoli salad will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator, but it is best served immediately after preparation.

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