Tuesday, February 22, 2011
We go together.
Broccoli and garlic go together like pretzels and beer, like peanut butter and jelly, like gin and tonic. They are MFEO, you know what I mean? (Made for each other - that's what I mean.) The great Ina Garten (she of the easiest, tastiest brioche on earth) knows this, and as a result created one of my favorite salads of all time: broccoli with garlic and soy sauce. It's a spicy, salty delight, and one I try to eat as often as possible.
Today, I was craving said salad, but already had multiple things happening on my stovetop. How, therefore, would I be able to blanch the broccoli? And then I realized - I don't have to blanch it; I can roast it instead. Roasted broccoli is a pungent, slightly crunchy treat, and I had a feeling it would go just as well with the garlicky oil and salty soy sauce as its blanched counterpart.
The result is a supremely rich salad, but one that's still ridiculously good for you (Broccoli is, after all, a superfood.). It's a little crunchy and a bit toasty, and it travels immensely well. And, true to form, the broccoli and garlic go together like...broccoli and garlic.
Roasted Broccoli Salad
Adapted from Ina Garten
2 heads broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for roasting
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
1 tbs. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 tbs. soy sauce
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the broccoli florets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until a few of the florets begin to brown.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook gently until the garlic begins to soften and is quite sweet. Add the pepper flakes and remove the oil from heat. Let the oil steep for at least 30 minutes.
Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl. Remove the garlic cloves from the oil and pour the oil over the broccoli. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and toss to combine. Taste for seasonings - you'll likely want more black pepper, but possibly not salt (thanks to the soy sauce).
Serves 4-6 as a side.