Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup buttermilk (I usually just use the ol' lemon juice in whole milk trick because buttermilk comes in annoyingly large cartons--to make 1/2 cup buttermilk, you add 1/2 TBS lemon juice to 1/2 cup whole milk and let it sit for a few minutes, and stir before using)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (the original recipe is for 1/3 cup--I found this to be a bit too much but I'm also not a fan of super-mayonnaise-y things so do what you like)
2 TBS cider vinegar (or 1 TBS cider vinegar and 1 TBS lemon juice, which I did because I had a lemon and also because I like the supa tartness)
1 TBS sugar
1 medium or large shallot, finely chopped (about 3 TBS)
Salt to taste--don't be shy, use at least a 1/2 tsp but you will probably want more because it's a lot of raw broccoli in this dish
2 heads of broccoli
1/2 cup sliced almonds or other nuts, toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit
1/2 small red onion or 2 to 3 large shallots, finely chopped (the last time I made this recipe was about a month ago and dagnabbit I'm pretty sure I still that the unused half of that pesky red onion in the refrigerator--the shallots are more $$ but at least they get used up)
First, make the dressing. You can do this in advance to get it out of the way and to help the flavors meld. I make dressings by putting all the ingredients into a jar, put the lid on, and shake away. So easy. I do this with cocktails as well since our cocktail shaker has a little inconvenience in that the f-in top doesn't come off but that is another story.
Dump in the shallots, buttermilk, mayo, sugar, vinegar...blah blah you get it.
Then, chop the living daylights out of your broccoli or run it through the food processor with the slicer attachment. I've done both and they have the pros and cons. Chopping by hand is more effort, and you have to make sure that you chop it pretty small so that you end up getting a decent ratio of raw broccoli:dressing. With the food processor, the chopping part is easier but I made an even bigger mess than when I hand chop--you have to empty out that sucker pretty frequently, and in the process things get flung everywhere and you will have fuzzy green hands. You can also use a mandoline, which I have not done because honestly I am scared of my mandoline. I took a big slice out of my fingernail once and it made me jittery.
With the food processor, you still want to hack up the broccoli into big chunks.
Then run them through the food processor to get this:
And then...well let's skip a few steps where you toss the broccoli with the dressing, and season with any extra salt and pepper to taste. Best to let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to get the flavors to meld. When ready to serve, sprinkle with the almonds and cranberries.