Soup, Salad, Sandwich

Ex-in-law Broccoli Ranch Salad for Future-in-laws

I was married once. And just like everything in life, something good can come of a less than ideal situation. For instance, my two ex sisters-in-law, Deb and Sue, are lovely women who served some of the best down-home food from their Midwest kitchen tables. Many of their creations, like Deb’s Broccoli Cauliflower Ranch Salad and Sue’s Snickers bar recipe, found their way into my arsenal of recipes.

This weekend, my some-day sister-in-law, Betsy, and her family came to visit and we grilled bacon burgers and hot dogs. Broccoli Cauliflower Ranch Salad was the perfect vegetable side dish to serve on a warm summer evening.

In the morning, Gracie and I whipped up fluffy Cake Batter Pancakes and a new-to-us-recipe for ham, cheese, and egg bake made with Stove Top stuffing. (After 10 years with Jason’s family, I think Grace and I are grandfathered in as Aunt and Niece.) She mastered the “flip” of the pancake so she just might take over the morning spatula when they get back home.

You can make this salad with whichever raw veggies you want. The recipe card that I copied from Deb is fairly vague. I wrote garlic and dill weed but I didn’t write amounts. If you’re not fond of some of the vegetables, just switch them out for something you like. Check your garden before you hit the market.

I tossed in a handful of diced red onion. If you like cashews, sliced almonds or sunflower seeds, they would add a nice salty crunch.

Bacon would take it to the next level.

According to what I wrote, the number of servings makes “a big bowl.” My guess is, it makes 12-18 servings.

Do you have a favorite recipe from an ex-family member? 

Broccoli Cauliflower Ranch Salad

  • Yield: 12-18 servings


  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion (If you prefer, use green onions.)
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen peas (The petite ones are nice.)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, NOT salad dressing
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 (1-ounce) packet dry Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix - NOT the dip mix
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (Or use a couple of cloves of chopped garlic.)


  1. Wash and chop the broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and red onion. Add the vegetables, including the peas, to a big bowl of salted cold water. A couple of tablespoons of salt is fine. Let the veggies soak in the water for 10-15 minutes. Drain the water well so the salad doesn't get watery. Toss the vegetables into a large bowl.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add the Ranch packet, dill weed and garlic powder. Stir to mix well.

  3. Add the Ranch mixture to the vegetables and stir until they are evenly coated with the dressing. Chill at least one hour. Serve cold. You can refrigerate it overnight and serve the next day. Refrigerate leftovers.


If you like bacon, cashews, sliced almonds or sunflower seeds, they would add a nice salty crunch.

Relax. I made a cheesecake, I didn't fold a fitted sheet.


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