The Picnic Cafe’s Broccoli Salad Recipe | PBS Food

The Picnic Cafe’s Broccoli Salad

Kathy Bonnet, owner of The Picnic Cafe in Nashville, Tenn., shared the recipe for her classic broccoli salad and the secret to her dressing: make the dressing the night before so the sugar can dissolve and the dressing will not be grainy. If not serving immediately, wait to add the bacon so it stays crispy.

This recipe is featured in the WANTED: Broccoli episode of Season 5 of A Chef's Life.

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  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 medium broccoli heads, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 green onions, white and tender green parts, chopped
  • ½ cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
  • 3 to 5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped, about ½ cup
  • 1 cup golden raisins


  1. The night before, combine mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir to fully combine and let sit in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Combine broccoli, green onions, sunflower seeds, bacon and raisins in a large bowl. Pour over dressing. Stir to fully coat.
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