Broccoli And Cauliflower Salad

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with smoky bacon, pine nuts and raisins is an updated version of a classic broccoli salad that appeared at most potluck dinners and backyard barbecues that I attended as a young girl growing up in Texas. I loved it but my mother never made the salad because my father didn’t like broccoli. He wasn’t a very flexible person when it came to what he ate. There is no way he would have eaten a raw broccoli salad. Even though the salad had lots of bacon, cheddar cheese, raisins and a sweet mayonnaise based dressing…not once would he ever give it a try.

My husband isn’t much better when it comes to broccoli. He thinks if you are going to eat broccoli, it should be covered in a cheese sauce. Apparently they are not alone when it comes to broccoli, even one of our former presidents didn’t like it. President Bush said “I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!

With that kind of history, why did I decide to make a broccoli and cauliflower salad? I like broccoli and I’m the cook now! Actually, my husband enjoyed this delicious side dish and I think you will as well.

Broccoli And Cauliflower Salad With Smoky Bacon, Pine Nuts And Parmesan Cheese
Broccoli And Cauliflower Salad With Smoky Bacon, Pine Nuts, Raisins And Parmesan Cheese

Broccoli And Cauliflower Salad

  • 2 c. broccoli flowerets
  • 2 c. cauliflower flowerets
  • 2 – 3 strips of thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 c. raisins (dried cranberries or dried cherries can be substituted)
  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving


  • 1 small clove of garlic, grated or minced fine
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blanch the broccoli and cauliflower in a large pot of salted water until tender crisp, about 1 minute. Drain well in a colander then place on paper towel to absorb any remaining water (a salad spinner works well to get all the water out of the veggies)  then put in a mixing bowl.

Fry the bacon until brown and crispy then add to the vegetables.

Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until it has emulsified. Pour the vinaigrette over the warm broccoli, cauliflower and bacon then toss. Add the nuts, raisins, and grated cheese and toss well. Taste for additional seasoning. A little extra lemon juice or vinegar will add a little more zip if it seems to be lacking in flavor. Once the vegetables are seasoned to your taste, place in a serving bowl. Just before serving top with additional grated cheese, if you wish.


This is a salad for all seasons. In the hot summer months, you might want to refrigerate the salad for a couple of hours for a cool side dish to serve along with grilled meats, hot dogs and hamburgers.. The rest of the year you might want to serve the salad at room temperature, it goes great as a side with a roasted chicken dinner. While I still think the original broccoli salad is good, I think my version is healthier and that makes me happy.

Tell me my friends, what are your feelings about broccoli. Do you like it and do you serve it to your family and friends. Or are you like President Bush and my father and won’t touch broccoli…I’d love to know.


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164 thoughts on “Broccoli And Cauliflower Salad

  1. What a great recipe, Karen. I love broccoli and eat it more than almost any other vegetable, in soups, with pasta, just simply cooked then lemon juice and olive oil over it. But I’ve never served it like this and your dish sounds delicious.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, This sounds like a recipe you would enjoy since you are a fan of both vegetables. Yes, I’m a fan of the old recipe as well. 😀

  2. I don’t know what it is with men and broccoli, but there seems to be a general dislike. My husband thinks he has a genetic disposition that makes everything green he eats taste bad. How is that for an excuse? You salad looks delicious and healthy, I would enjoy every bite of it.

    1. I laughed reading about your husband’s excuse about eating greens…genetic disposition, that’s too funny. 😀 I’m happy to know you like the salad.

  3. What a great barbecue salad. My father-in-law and husband are not very adventurous eaters either but I still make thigs like this for me and my friends! I just will leave out the bacon and it will be perfect! Thanks.

    1. Thank you Darlene, I’m glad you like the salad…yes it is good dish to serve at a barbecue especially since there is no mayonnaise in it.

  4. My husband can eat kale, but not cauliflower and broccoli…not even with cheese..(he calls cheese as rotten milk). I am on the contrary, a huge fan of both veggies..with or without cheese. This looks very tasty!

    1. Hi Angie, I’m glad you like the salad, thank you. No cheese…how could that be? Well at least your husband likes kale. 🙂

  5. Hated broccoli when I was a kid. DItto, cauliflower. Love them both now. I think the difference is we all learned they don’t need to be cooked for 14 hours to make them edible. 🙂 Haven’t had this salad in ages, and it’s a good one. Definitely time to make it again. And your version looks terrific! Just the right amount of cheese. Thanks!

    1. Hi John, I think you are right that overcooking might be the reason…just like Brussels sprouts. I’m glad you like this salad, thank you.

    1. Thank you Ksenia, I’m glad you like the salad. I do think it is a good one for summer as there is no mayonnaise like in the original one I used to have.

  6. I don’t know why you mention the broccoli … it’s the cauliflower that I don’t like. 🙂 I’ll eat broccoli raw, steamed or stir fried. Nice dressing too.

    1. Well I’ve learned another thing you don’t like Boleyn, olives and now cauliflower. 😀 Just omit it and I think you will enjoy the salad.

    1. Thank you for your compliment Kathryn, I’m glad you like the recipe. Bacon is one of the reasons my husband liked this veggie salad. 😀

    1. Hi Cheri, I’m glad you like the sound of my salad, thank you. I think the pine nuts added a nice flavor and texture to the dish.

  7. Hello Karen..I always look forward to your recipes, and I really like the sound of this simple easy quickly prepared salad , I love broccoli but never serve it to guests, as i know there are quite a lot of people who don’t like it. also I find it goes cold quicker than any other vegetable. Why ?
    I’ve idea .

    1. Thank you so much Barbara for your nice compliment about my recipes. This really is a simple dish to prepare. Good question about broccoli cooling off quickly…perhaps it has something to do with the water content of the vegetable.

    1. Thank you Ronit, I’m happy that you like the salad. The saltiness of the bacon and the sweetness of the raisins add lots of flavor to this veggie salad.

  8. My sister used to make a broccoli and cauliflower salad very similar to this but hers was drenched in ranch dressing and had black olives mixed in. She said it was the only way she could get her kids to eat it. I must confess, her kids weren’t the only ones that liked it. I love yours too, a much more grown up version.

    1. Hi Karen, The things we do to get our families to eat their veggies. 🙂 My husband would probably like your sister’s salad. 😀 I’m glad you like my recipe, thank you.

  9. I also recall the classic broccoli salad and always enjoyed it. The addition of cauliflower is wonderful and so is the switch from a mayo based dressing to a lighter vinaigrette. A wonderful salad for summer event sharing!

    1. Hi Deb, As much as I like the original version, I thought a vinaigrette based salad would be nice for all the summer backyard dinner parties. I’m glad you like my updated salad, thank you.

  10. Would you believe this is a ‘newie’ for me and I know I am going to love it!! And I was very much cooking at the time of which you speak: well, perchance not in Texas 🙂 !! Thank the Lord both my husbands and friends following have loved broccoli and all other greens . . . .That alone could have been a ‘deal-breaker’ 🙂 !! And definitely no cheese sauce or even mayonnaise in this home . . . !!!

    1. Hi Eha, I’m glad I could supply you with a recipe for new dish to try. Aren’t you lucky that the men in your life liked their greens as much as you. 🙂

  11. I love broccoli in all forms. Your version of broccoli does sound healthy and we wouldn’t have to worry about any mayonnaise spoiling in the summer months. Adding the bacon and pine nuts sounds yummy!

    1. Hi Kitty, As much as I like the original version, with my salad there are no worries about the dish sitting out too long at a hot summer barbecue. The bacon and pine nuts was a good way to get my husband to like the broccoli salad. 😀

  12. Yum to this recipe. I like all the ingredients and serve broccoli and cauliflower frequently. There is that sulfurous quality to it, but that’s okay…

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m happy you like the recipe, thank you. That sulfurous quality to the broccoli and cauliflower is actually a good thing, it acts as an antioxidant and detoxifier in the human body. 🙂

    1. Hi Annie, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. It think there are a lot of men who don’t care for broccoli. What can we do but keep trying to find someway to make them give it a try and like it. 😀

  13. I’ve had versions of this salad for years, but with broccoli, no cauliflower! I am very eager to give this a try. We are “big”on both vegetables around here. Your vinaigrette looks really nice for this, too. I think most of the time I’ve had it with a heavier dressing and I much prefer this. I’ve also had it served with cashews–but to me, that’s a bit over the top! I think the toasted pine nuts is absolutely perfect!

    1. Hi Debra, Yes the inspiration for this salad was the one with only broccoli and loaded with a sweet mayonnaise based dressing. I felt I could make a healthier version that would still have lots of flavor. I hope you will enjoy it if you get a chance to try it.

  14. Personally I would love to try this salad as I like broccoli, both raw and cooked. But the other member of my household is a little more skeptical… 😉

    1. Hi Cathy, I’m with you…I’ve never found a way I don’t like broccoli. It sounds like your and my husband are like many others. I know that you are a vegetarian and will leave out the bacon but I do think you will enjoy the salad.

  15. I love the blanching, and addition of bacon, nut, cranberries and of course Parmesan. This would be great for my vegetarian lunch. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Thank you Liz, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you like the changes I’ve made to this classic salad. A few tweaks like blanching the vegetables and I knew I could get my husband to try it. 🙂

    1. Trying to get my husband to eat broccoli and actually like it is a little tricky but bacon, pine nuts and parmesan did the trick. Thank you for your nice compliment Julie, I’m glad you like the recipe.

  17. So glad to know your husband love this salad, I think blanching the broccoli is what did the trick. A confession, I love broccoli but not raw so never ate broccoli salad. This is definitely my kind of broccoli salad.

    1. I’m glad you like the broccoli salad Norma. Yes, I think the quick blanching worked well on both the texture and taste. My husband thinks eating raw broccoli is “like eating wood chips”. 😀

    1. Hi Barbara, I’m happy to know you like my version…thank you. The flavor is great and yet its healthy and that is a good thing.

  18. I think this would be a nightmare for my husband (brocoli would be ok, but cauliflower is most hated), but I love both brocoli and cauliflower and am so glad to see them in one luscious-looking salad. Bookmarked!

    1. Hi Sissi, I’m glad you you like the salad but we certainly don’t want your husband to have any nightmares. 😀 Preparing meals can be a challenge when our tastes are different.

  19. I love broccoli, Karen, but would normally prefer it lightly cooked. Likewise cauliflower. I too have a husband that doesn’t like ‘that green stuff’ whatever you do to it. 🙂 I’d give this a try though.

    Do you still keep a separate blog? I believe you used to when you did 6WS. Have a great (and healthy 🙂 ) week.

    1. Thank you Jo, for your nice wish and comment. It sounds like our husbands have similar tastes. I believe blanching the veggies like I did, changed the texture and taste…adding bacon and all the other goodies got him to try and like the salad. 🙂 As to a separate blog, no I’ve never had one.

    1. Thank you for your compliment Susan, I’m glad you like the recipe. I do think the pine nuts add a nice flavor and texture to the dish. You gave me a chuckle, I guess I am queen of the kitchen…at least most of the time. 😀

  20. My hubs isn’t a huge fan either. 🙂 I, however, love broccoli, and this salad sounds marvelous. 🙂

    1. Hi Lassie, It appears that most of our husbands have similar tastes but I’m happy to know that you like the salad. I appreciate your compliment, thank you for stopping by for a visit.

  21. I know the exact salad you are talking about – I had the same salads at family, neighborhood and church gatherings during the summer in Oklahoma. I love your new salad and since I haven’t thought of that particular bowl of joy in a long long time – I’m going to make yours for our 4th of July cookout! YUM! I cannot wait!

    1. Thank you Kelli, I’m happy that you like my version and will be serving it at your cookout on the 4th. I hope everyone enjoys it. 🙂

  22. The version that shows up at pot lucks here has a creamy mayo-style dressing which I really don’t care for, but I LOVE your vinaigrette, it allows each participant to show off their own textures and distinct flavours. I’ll bookmark this as it is getting to be super hot and humid here.

    1. Hi Eva, Yes, this is a lighter and healthier version of the old classic but still full of flavor, I’m glad you like it. Thank you.

  23. I love both veggies but I dislike broccoli that is overcooked. I use broccoli cold in two of my salads – that’s just the way I like it. Cauliflower I can eat all kinds of ways. Love your salad and a new version to try with that yummy vinaigrette.

    1. Yes David, my husband loves the pasta with cauliflower, raisins and pine nuts. That is what gave me the idea for this salad. Sneaky, right. 😀

  24. Your broccoli and cauliflower salad looks beautiful and delicious. The story or your Father brought back some memories of mine. At the time I came to the USA I was not accustomed to see raw vegetables other than tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in the salad. It was shocking to see raw broccoli, cauliflower, zucchinis, mushrooms, etc in salads. I wasn’t to keen about it, but grew to appreciate an enjoy them. 🙂

    1. Thank you Fae, I’m glad you enjoyed the story and the salad recipe. I can remember that I was hesitate about raw mushrooms for years but as you say, we do grow to like things after a bit. For this salad, I think blanching the veggies made my husband like the salad more than if they were totally raw.

  25. Hi Katerina, Yes…our tastes do change as we grow up. There are things that I wouldn’t even try when I was young that I love now. Thank you for your nice compliment about the salad.

  26. Looks so delicious, Karen. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve copied it to make when i eventually get my kitchen. I know exactly what my hubby will do. He’ll pick out all the cauliflower and leave the broccoli for me, which suits me fine, just as long as he doesn’t hog all the bacon. 🙂

    1. Thank you Sylvia, I’m glad you like the salad. I know you will be very happy when your home is finally finished and you have a kitchen. It sounds like my salad is meant to be shared in your home…one cauliflower for me, one broccoli for you. 😀

    1. Hi Lisa, It sounds like we are the same, I like broccoli however it is prepared. While I’ve always liked the classic recipe, I think my new version is delicious and much healthier. I’m glad you like the recipe.

  27. I love your new version of the classic potluck salad! My hubby “might” eat the broccoli, but would definitely leave the cauliflower for me! I blanch mine, too—I think it makes a better salad. Hope your summer is off to a beautiful start!

    1. I’m happy you like my version of the classic salad, Liz. Yes, I do think blanching the veggies creates a salad more people would like. Summer is off t a nice start, thank you. I hope yours is as well. 🙂

    1. Hi Jason, Sounds like you might be like my husband…whenever I add bacon to a recipe, he always loves the dish. Glad you like the recipe, thank you.

  28. I’m a huge fan of broccoli and eat it almost daily, raw, lightly steamed, roasted with a bit of garlic. Delicious! Your recipe looks wonderful as I too loved that potluck mayo slathered sweet broccoli salad!

    1. Now you may be the biggest fan ever Peter when it comes to broccoli. I’m glad you like my version, it is a nice change from the mayo version.

  29. Bacon is a major food group according to my boys and I bet with all these lovely additions I could even get them to eat their broccoli. Love this recipe. I hope you are having a fantastic summer!!!!

    1. You gave me a laugh Bobbi, your sons sound a lot like my husband. I add bacon to a recipe and my husband loves it. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish, summer is off to a nice start.

  30. Your recipe sounds so good – I’m copying it and will make it for sure. I cook broccoli often. I like to cook it with mushroom and fresh basil and just a bit of balsamic vinegar, of any flavoring. I have to admit that growing up in France I had never tested broccoli until I came to the States, or kale for that matter. Nowadays though it is in French markets.

  31. Thank you Saskia, for both your visit and your nice compliment. I hope that you will enjoy the salad when you get a chance to prepare it. It is interesting to learn that broccoli wasn’t a popular vegetable in France until recently.

  32. Those broccoli salads have been ubiquitous for decades now, but I’m not sure I’ve seen one made with cauliflower as well.A genius touch, since I like them both! Love what you said about being the cook and cooking what you like … oh, the power! 😊

    1. Hi Marlene, I thought if one veggie is good, two has to be better and I like the combination in this salad…I’m glad you do as well. While I do consider other people’s taste when cooking, sometimes it has to be my way. 😀

  33. What a fun presentation for your salad! And I love the pine nuts and raisins in it….two of my favorite veggies anyway. You’ve just made it better!

    1. Thank you Barbara, for your nice compliment. I’m happy you like my combination of flavors in this salad…I think it turned out real good.

    1. Hi Tania, I’m like you when it comes to vegetables…I don’t think I’ve met one I didn’t like. I can usually depend on my husband liking something he might not care for if I add bacon or nuts to the recipe and this salad was one of those cases…he liked it. 🙂

    1. Thank you Ladyfi, I’m happy you like the recipe but I know you would want to leave the bacon out. 🙂 Overcooked veggies are not appetizing but when people don’t like them raw, blanching is a good option as in this salad.

  34. I’ve always been a broccoli salad fan, but yours goes the extra mile! I’m intrigued by the addition of bacon, Dijon mustard, and Parmesan cheese – and the cauliflower! Glad to be reminded of this great pitch-in dish.

    1. Hi Julie, I’m glad that you like my updated version of this classic salad. I think it is healthier but loaded with flavor. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  35. My Dad is the same way when we were growing up, Karen! He would never eat broccoli…and in fact he’d think we were trying to trick him with casseroles. But me? I love broccoli! This side dish and I would be very good friends. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Hi David, Yes it does sound like our fathers had similar tastes…not too flexible with broccoli. I’m glad you like the salad and thank you for your compliment.

  36. I must confess that I’m not a big fan of raw broccil. It’s so dry, and I’m never sure when to stop chewing it. But I love it light cooked, and really love it in salads. And who doesn’t love bacon?

  37. Hi Jeff, I get where you are coming from about raw broccoli. Even though I like it raw, I too prefer it lightly cooked. Updating my version my blanching the veggies changed the texture and you are right, who doesn’t love bacon. 🙂

    1. Hi Laura, I guess sometimes we can have too much of a good thing…in your case the broccoli. I’m happy you like the salad and yes, the dressing really enhances the flavor.

  38. i’m not sure why, but i always think of cauliflower and broccoli together and often swap one out for the other in a dish. i don’t think i have any recipes using both of them, so this is definitely appealing!

    1. Hi Grace, I agree with you about the two veggies being interchange in most dishes. I thought they worked very well together in this salad and I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

    1. Hi Fran, You would be surprised…it was H.W. Bush, the father that doesn’t like broccoli and made that statement while serving in the White House. 😀 The sweetness of the raisins goes very well in this salad. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

    1. Hi Nancy, If you like the original version like I do, then I believe you will enjoy this updated recipe as well. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  39. I must have got lucky – my hubby loves broccoli and cauliflower. In fact the only thing he won’t eat is purple lettuce – go figure 🙂 You’ve got a little sweet, savoury and crunch in this salad I love it.

    1. Hi Nancy, If the only thing your husband doesn’t like is purple lettuce, mealtime must be easy for you…I think he is a keeper. 😀 I’m glad you like the salad, thank you.

    1. Hi Sheryl, I happy to agree with you about the salad, it is perfect for summer since it isn’t mayo based and dried fruit adds a nice sweetness to this savory salad. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Tandy, I’m glad you like the salad. Yes, there are many people who don’t care for raisins but dried cranberries or cherries work nicely in this dish.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Robyn. I agree that this really is a healthy salad and the salty parmesan adds lots of flavor.

  40. Funny, my husband gets broccoli and cauliflower mixed up. (“Which one’s the green one again?”) Luckily for me, he likes them both, and I can eat them both any ol’ which way. Your version sounds like a welcome change from many an over-mayoed summer staple.

  41. Hi Rosemary, You are lucky that you both enjoy both broccoli and cauliflower. I’m glad you like my updated version of the classic salad, it is nice for a change without the mayo.

  42. Honestly, I just bought both broccoli as well as cauliflower this morning so you know how I feel about them! : ) This looks so delicious – adding the pine nuts and parm sounds wonderful! Great twist to make ordinary veggies we eat often more exciting and tasty!

  43. Karen, salads loaded with healthy vegetables are simply the best. We all eat a lot of broccoli and cauliflower and I am kind of proud of my family that they are such veggie lovers.

    1. Hi Andrea, I know if there is one family that loves their veggies, it yours. 🙂 This salad does make a nice healthy addition to a meal, thank you.

  44. I am one of the biggest broccoli fans ever! Your recipe looks really good, but will probably forgo the bacon, even though I would probably love it served with it as well. 🙂 The pine nuts and Parmesan additions make it seem exotic.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Kathy. If you are a fan of broccoli, I do think you would enjoy this salad. While delicious with the bacon, it would still be good if you decided to leave it out.

  45. I appreciate your compliment Marcie…thank you. I thought the contrast of colors and textures of the two veggies created a nice salad.

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