For the salad
10-11 strips of bacon, cooked
2 heads broccoli (about 1 and 1/2 pounds or 5-6 cups)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup chopped red onion, or more to taste
For the dressing
1 and 1/4 cups Miracle Whip OR mayonnaise
zest from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Start by making the bacon. I highly recommend baking it in the oven! So mush easier, and no splatter. However you want to do it, cook 10-11 slices of bacon to your desired level of crispness, then set aside on paper towels to cool. Once cool, chop into bite size pieces.
While the bacon cooks, mix together the ingredients for the dressing. In a large bowl add 1 and 1/4 cups Miracle Whip OR Mayonnaise, the zest from 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. (the cayenne adds flavor but not heat. Don’t be scared of it! Just careful Whisk all the dressing ingredients together.
Add the ingredients for the salad to the bowl with the dressing. Start by chopping your broccoli using a chef’s knife. I like really small florets, so you don’t get any bites that are just giant broccoli. See photos. I also like to save the stems, chop them up, and add them into the salad, but you can leave them out if you prefer.
Add all the broccoli to the large bowl. Add 1 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and 1/3 cup chopped red onion. Add in most of the bacon, reserving some to sprinkle on top for serving.* (Actually, any of the ingredients besides broccoli would look pretty sprinkled on top right before serving.)
Stir it all together. This salad can be served room temperature or chilled. If you chill it first, let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes before serving.
Store leftovers covered in the fridge! This salad will keep for about 5 days.