I first had broccoli-ramen salad a few years ago at my friend Sandra’s baby shower. With its combinations of textures and gorgeous colors, it is a wonderful dish to make for a covered dish or potluck. It is also a good snack to have on hand for hot summer days.

To make this salad, you will need:

  • 4 or 5 heads of fresh broccoli
  • 2 packages of ramen noodles (any flavor)
  • 2 bunches of green onions
  • 1 small package of sunflower kernels
  • 1 package of Craisins (or raisins, if you’d prefer)
  • 1 package of slivered almonds

First, wash the broccoli and then trim the florets from the stalks, breaking them into bite-sized pieces. Place them into a large mixing bowl:

Then, trim the ends from the onions and rinse them:

And chop. Place over top of the broccoli:

I used chicken-flavored ramen for this, but it’s only because that is what I had on hand. Any flavor will do, and if you want to go the vegetarian or vegan route, then of course use the Oriental flavor or what not. Open the noodles and set the seasoning packets aside (you will use these for the dressing):

Then, using your hands, break the raw ramen noodles into bite-sized pieces, adding them to the bowl as you go:

Now it’s time to add some goodies. First, pour the sunflower kernels in:

Then the Craisins. (I think raisins are of the devil, except when nestled within a warm oatmeal cookie, so if any recipe calls for them, I use Craisins instead. Use whatever you’d like, though.)

Finally, add the slivered almonds. I just used regular oven-toasted slivered almonds, but there are several flavors available in the produce section of your store; use whatever suits your fancy. You can also use peanuts, walnuts, or pecans if you prefer.

Now it’s time to make the dressing. I like to keep things simple. You’ll need the two seasoning packets from the ramen noodles plus 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of vinegar, and 1 cup of oil. Easy to remember, isn’t it? ;)

First, combine the sugar and two seasoning packets in a bowl:

Then add the vinegar—cider or white, whatever you have:

Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved, and then slowly drizzle one cup of canola or vegetable oil into the sugar/vinegar mixture, whisking furiously while doing so, so that the dressing will emulsify. You can use a blender if you don’t like whisking:

When the dressing is combined, taste for seasoning. I added a tiny bit of salt and maybe a half teaspoon of coarsely ground pepper. You may like some garlic powder or dry mustard in it, or whatever else. A bit of celery seed would be nice since it’s a sweet-and-sour dressing; red pepper flakes could also be used if you like to spice things up a bit.

Anyway, when the dressing is to your taste, pour it over the salad ingredients:

Then toss everything together. It may seem like too much dressing at first, but as the broccoli and noodles marinate, they will soak up the dressing, and it will be perfect. Here is what you will have:

Isn’t it beautiful?

You’ll need to let this set for a couple of hours, at least, so that all of the flavors can blend together and the ramen noodles will soften. If you think of it, give it a stir a couple of times while you’re waiting so that the flavor and textures will be uniform. Other than that, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy!