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Summer Eats: Broccoli Bacon Salad with Roasted Cashews

Posted by mmillet on July 5, 2013

Broccoli Bacon Salad with Roasted Cashews

Those relaxed, side-splitting, late sunset, summertime afternoon barbecues are begging for a killer broccoli salad. Broccoli has never looked so good as when it's buddied up with bacon, roasted cashews and perhaps some cold-smoked cheese. We took an irresistible recipe by Paula Deen and, of course, Traeger'ized it.


PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 25 to 30 minutes
SERVES: 6 to 8

1 cup raw cashews
1/2 teaspoon Traeger Cajun Shake
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 head broccoli
6 to 8 slices thick-cut bacon
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup raisins, optional
8 ounces sharp Cheddar, cut into very small chunks
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Start your Traeger on Smoke with the lid open for 4 to 5 minutes, or until fire is established. Preheat to 350 degrees F, with the lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

The toasted cashews truly make this dish a standout - giving each bite crunch, heat and smoke. (We used our recipe for Rosemary Cashews - without the rosemary.) Pour the melted butter over top of the cashews and season with the Cajun Shake (or salt) and cayenne pepper. Spread out the cashews in one layer on a baking sheet and grill at 350 degrees F for 10 - 12 minutes, or until lightly toasted.

Cook the bacon at the same time, grilling it for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Cut off the stalk of the broccoli and wash broccoli head thoroughly. Cut the head into flowerets. Place in a large bowl. Add the onion, raisins if using, and cheese. We suggest cold smoking the cheese to really impart an excellent smokiness because it will taste AMAZING! (Follow our guide to cold smoking and find out why and how to cold smoke. If you don't have a Traeger Cold Smoker, seriously think about all of the incredible possibilities...)

Broccoli Bacon Salad with Roasted Cashews

Chop up the bacon into bite-sized pieces and add into the bowl along with the toasted cashews and cherry tomatoes.

Broccoli Bacon Salad with Roasted Cashews

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.