Planning your July 4 picnic menu? Be sure to include broccoli salad. Trust me, it will be a hit.

Planning your July 4 picnic menu? Be sure to include broccoli salad. Trust me, it will be a hit.

I first tried the dish at a Memorial Day party. I’ll be honest. It looked kind of strange. Broccoli and grapes? Cashews and onions? Bacon and cranberries?

I took a small helping to be polite, and noticed several other guests also spooning “courtesy samples” onto their plates. Soon after, everyone was buzzing about it and getting up for seconds.

“Wow, have you tried that salad, the one with the broccoli and grapes?”

“Anybody know who made that unusual salad?”

“That stuff is strange, but boy, is it tasty.”

I finally tracked down the cook, Linda Rosia of Canal Fulton, Ohio.

“My daughter-in-law Aimee Rosia got it from her mom,” said Linda, 61. “Aimee passed it over to me, thank goodness. It’s been in her family a long time, and now it’s in ours. It is usually served at every family occasion.”

Linda admits first-timers often are tentative. The unusual variety of ingredients raises some eyebrows.

“They say, ‘What is that?’ but then when they try it, they say, ‘Oh, that is so good!’ ”

It’s more than good. It’s great. The odd blend of ingredients is the perfect mix of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy, smoky and nutty.


BROCCOLI SALAD

2 bunches broccoli tips, cut small
3 to 4 green onions with green tops, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole green grapes
1 cup salted cashews
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 pound crisp bacon, crumbled

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Mix salad ingredients. Mix dressing together, pour over salad and mix. Chill and serve. Serves 8-10.