Remove the stems from the broccoli and cut into very small pieces. IF you want to blanch the broccoli follow the next few steps. If you're short on time or don't mind raw broccoli you can skip blanching.
Fill up a bowl with very cold water and a few cupfuls of ice. Bring a pot of water to boiling point. Add in a heaping tablespoon of salt.
Pour the broccoli into the boiling water and count to 30. As soon as you get to 30 drain the broccoli and pour the broccoli into your prepared ice/water bath.
Allow the broccoli to sit in the cold water until completely cooled. Then remove with a slotted spoon to a salad spinner or bowl.
Make sure the broccoli is 100% dried before tossing it with anything else (especially the dressing). I like to use a salad spinner and then let it sit out for a while. If it's any bit wet, it becomes too watery.
Add the cranberries, almonds (toast if desired), sunflower seeds, and sharp cheddar cheese (that has been cut into very small cubes) to the bowl with the broccoli.
In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar, zest of one lemon, and about 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Add some salt and pepper, taste, and add more sugar (1-2 more tablespoons) or lemon to personal preference (not too much lemon or the dressing becomes too watery)
Whisk in the poppyseeds.
Toss the dressing with the salad and place in the fridge to marinate for 15-30 minutes.
Toss again and enjoy!