Celebrity Broccoli – Retro Recipe

A Retro Recipe Rediscovered

Celebrity Broccoli is a wonderful broccoli recipe that features steamed broccoli topped with a sauce made of sour cream (or Greek yogurt), red wine vinegar, poppy seeds, paprika, chopped onion, red bell pepper and chopped nuts. Celebrity Broccoli is a recipe from my mother’s recipe box.

My mother died 10 years ago this October. After parents die, the children typically keep some of their belongings as a remembrance of them. I was privileged to receive my mother’s fine china and every time I use it I think of her and how she loved to decorate her long dining table for each holiday or birthday event on the calendar! I wonder how many meals we ate from those plates over the years. I always wondered who received her recipe box, as I wasn’t present when my brothers took what they wanted out of her house.

I was talking to my brother, Lee Annas, a couple of weeks ago and I mentioned to him that I would just love to see her recipe box again. He told me he had her recipe box in his possession. I asked him if I could just look through it sometime. Last week the doorbell rang when the UPS man came to our house. My husband is always ordering car parts online and receiving them by UPS or FedEx so I expected the box at the front door to be for him. I opened the door and was surprised to see the name on the box was mine.

I opened the box and the minute I saw the old familiar golden yellow color of my mother’s recipe box covered with various stickers (probably added to the box by some of her grandchildren), I just burst into tears. It was like having just a small piece of my mother again. (It’s difficult to explain if you’ve never experienced this, I suppose.) The old recipe box in which Mom kept her handwritten or typed recipes was a box from Betty Crocker dated 1971. Periodically subscribers would receive a packet of 27 recipe cards of a specific category. The complete Betty Crocker recipe collection was in that box and my mother had added her recipes to the box too.

I called my brother Lee to thank him for letting me borrow Mom’s recipe box and he told me  he wanted me to keep it. (More tears!) I thanked him for this gracious gift he gave me. Thanks again, Lee!

Celebrity Broccoli Recipe

One of the first recipes I came across in my mother’s old recipe box was the one for Celebrity Broccoli which happened to be a favorite of mine as I love broccoli. The original recipe served 8 so I cut it in half and added some red bell pepper to the recipe for a bright garnish. If you need enough for 8 servings, just double the amounts in this recipe.

Celebrity Broccoli
Serves 4
Steamed broccoli topped with sour cream sauce with onions, red wine vinegar, paprika, poppy seeds, chopped nuts and red bell pepper.
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  1. 1 (8 or 9-oz.) package frozen broccoli
  2. 1 tablespoon butter
  3. 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  4. 1/2 red bell pepper, cut in slivers
  5. 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  6. 3/4 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  7. 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  8. 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  9. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  10. dash cayenne pepper
  11. 2 tablespoons chopped nuts
  1. Cook broccoli according to package directions until tender; drain thoroughly.
  2. Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Add onion and red bell pepper and cook until tender. Remove red bell pepper and reserve for garnish.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in sour cream (or Greek yogurt), sugar, vinegar, poppy seeds, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper.
  4. Arrange broccoli on a warmed platter; pour sour cream sauce over center. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and arrange red pepper slivers over top for garnish.
  1. Fresh broccoli may be used instead of frozen broccoli. Celebrity Broccoli would be a great Christmas side dish with the traditional red and green colors.
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 Additional Information

I use a special pan in which to steam broccoli. Water goes into the bottom part, the broccoli goes into the part with holes, and the lid is clear so I can see how quickly the broccoli is getting done.

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable of the same family as cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy and brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are powerhouses of nutrients, particularly phytochemicals and antioxidants, and are linked to lower rates of cancer. Broccoli is low in calories and considered to be an excellent source of Vitamin K and Vitamin C.

I can eat steamed broccoli with just a squeeze of lemon juice but Celebrity Broccoli takes plain broccoli to a new level. It’s wonderful to serve to company as well as family and the colors make it a perfect side dish for the Christmas holidays! Try preparing some Celebrity Broccoli soon – you’ll love it!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!


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Layers of Flavors / Beautiful Broccoli Salad

Eat your broccoli!  With pleasure.  I love broccoli but I know there are some people  who don’t like it – for instance, President George H.W. Bush.  Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it belongs to the cabbage family, and it is believed by many to have cancer-fighting properties. I hope you like it because today I’m sharing one of my favorite salad recipes which features broccoli as the main ingredient. 

But first, in a recent post I included a list of Flavor Intensifiers to add to food to enhance the taste and to make eating food a more pleasant experience overall.  While preparing one of my favorite salads today I realized I could add one more category to this list – other foods.  For example, I add shredded carrots to potato soup and meat loaf, just to add the hint of natural sweetness that carrots bring to these recipes.  I like to add a small can of chopped green chilies (not the HOT ones!) to other foods to add to the flavor.  I’m also adding flavored mustards to our list.  Here’s the list again:

Flavor Intensifiers

  • Spices
  • Herbs
  • Extracts & flavorings
  • Seasoned salts & seasoning mixes
  • Flavored oils
  • Flavored vinegars
  • Sauces
  • Condiments
  • Marinades, rubs & brines
  • Glazes
  • Flavored Coffees & Flavored Teas
  • Citrus Juices & zest
  • Other foods
  • Flavored Mustards

Janet’s Broccoli Salad


6 cups chopped broccoli florets (cauliflower is good, too)

1 carrot, finely shredded (I use the food processor to do this)

2/3 cup finely chopped onion (red onion or Vidalia onions are great)

1 cup golden raisins

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds


1 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)

2 Tbsp. sugar


First, cook the bacon.  I’ve found that bacon comes out crisp and not so curled up when cooked in the oven.  Put a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of the sheet pan to make cleaning up easier for yourself.  Lay the bacon out flat on the foil. Set the convection oven to 375º F. (regular oven – 350º F.) and cook the bacon for 30 minutes, turning it halfway through the process.

                      Bacon Going Into Oven

                               Crispy Bacon

While the bacon is cooking, assemble the remaining salad ingredients.  Chop or tear the broccoli into small florets. 

                              Broccoli Florets

Add the remaining ingredients.

                         Add Cheese

Mix the dressing ingredients together.  Pour dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. 

                   Dressing & Bacon Added

Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving to allow flavors to meld.  

I hope you like this salad as much as I do!  It has many layers of flavors.

There are many ways to improve the taste of food so we can enjoy it more.  Stay tuned for some zucchini recipes coming soon – it’s that time of year when zucchini starts to abound!   

Remember to savor the flavor!