Bon Appetit November: Broccoli Caesar

Bon Appetit November: Broccoli Caesar

I don’t know what it is with broccoli and I. I’m not particularly obsessed with it- frankly, I even forget to stock it quite often in my quest to eat As Many Peas As Possible, but I keep finding myself elbow high in broccoli florets when I go to make my Bon Appetit recipe for the month. Maybe it’s because broccoli recipes tend to be less fuss than something fancy like goose livers cooked in Cabernet and seasoned with cashew fruit and organic truffles raised by Himalayan monks, and I’m a little lazy and also a little cheap when it comes to finding the rare and expensive ingredients necessary and devoting half a day of my life to one recipe. Really though, have you ever heard of a super fancy and fussy broccoli dish? Didn’t think so.

Anyhow, as I was browsing the Thanksgiving edition of the magazine, the recipe for Broccoli Caesar caught my eye. Loads of lemon, Parmesan, and lots of crunchy broccoli- there was no way it could be anything but delicious, especially if I carefully ignored the guidance to include anchovy fillets, since I am uncultured and don’t like little fishies fraternizing with my salads. I can always feel the imagined contempt of the Bon Appetit editors when I haphazardly throw my cheap ingredients together, using yellow onions instead of shallots, regular cabbage when I can’t find Napa, and leaving a wide berth around any recipes requiring fishies and using the word “braise”. But you know, those editors at work in their One World Trade Center may love anchovies, but they don’t get to live in a town with bed races up and down Main Street, so who is the real winner here? (Yes, we actually do that. Yes, it’s hilarious. Yes, I’m just trying to make myself feel better about not liking anchovies, and no, it’s not working.)

Anyhow, if you want to be a fancy-pants and use anchovies, you can click this link to find the real recipe and win the joy and approval of the Bon Appetit editors. But if you’re an average person in a redneck southern town, let me give you the pared down version. Either way, you really should make this salad because it’s delicious and so healthy and I could eat a quart of it every day.

Please forgive the terrible pictures. Not gonna lie, I mostly just wanted to dig in instead of photographing, and besides, winter makes good cooking photos a struggle!

INGREDIENTS   -8 servings

Dressing

1 garlic clove, smashed
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 large egg yolk
½ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan

Salt

Salad

2 medium heads of broccoli (about 1½ lb.)
¼ head of savoy or Napa cabbage

For Serving

Finely grated lemon zest
Grated Parmesan
Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Smash that garlic with the flat side of your knife until it’s as pasty as you can make it. Mix with the lemon juice, mustard, and egg yolk. You can substitute a couple TBSP of mayo for the egg if you’re squeamish, but I don’t recommend it. Whisk together and then drizzle in the olive oil slowly while whisking until it’s all mixed in and emulsified. Add the Parmesan and salt.

Chop the broccoli fairly finely, shred the cabbage, and toss together. I couldn’t find savoy or Napa, so I used regular cabbage, and it was quite delicious, but I really want to try it again with the real deal.

Mix the dressing with the salad, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Top with the lemon zest, a bit more Parmesan, and black pepper.

The broccoli soaked up the dressing perfectly, and each bite was tangy and crunchy and delightful; ten out of ten, would make again. I adore making dressings like this. As Julie Powell would say, there’s such a comfort in knowing that every single time you whisk a drizzle of oil with mustard and lemon, it will get delicious and thick, no matter what other things are out of your control or going wrong. That’s the beauty of the science of cooking.

Feeling in a broccoli mood? Find the other broccoli recipe I tried here- Broccoli Toasts with Garlic Ricotta and Hot Honey.

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