Roasting broccoli brings out its sweeter side. For this salad-y dish , I like to roast it just until it is lightly browned.
Combine them with buttery Marcona almonds, sweet dates and a little cheddar cheese, and you have a very delicious salad or side dish.
Other cruciferous vegetables can be substituted for the broccoli, such as cauliflower florets or halved Brussels sprouts. Tinker with roasting times to prevent overcooking the substituted veg; turn the oven light on and keep an eye on them.
Roasted Broccoli Salad
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/2 large broccoli “crowns,” trimmed at bottom of stalk if discolored
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vinaigrette: 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon honey
4 Medjool dates, pitted, coarsely diced
1/2 cup salted Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped
2 ounces white cheddar, shaved with a vegetable peeler or 2 ounces Mexican blend grated cheese
Optional: baby spinach or a mix of baby greens
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut broccoli in half from bottom to top. Cut into elongated sections that include stalks (there may be one or two florets attached to the stalk). Place in bowl and drizzle with oil. Toss (the best way is to use your oh-so-clean hands). Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in single layer on rimmed baking sheet (best to put flat-cut side down). Roast 10 minutes; turn and roast an additional 5 to 8 minutes (broccoli should be tender crisp). Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl. Cut broccoli in half crosswise and place in bowl. Add dates, almonds and cheese; toss. Stir vinaigrette and drizzle over salad; toss. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
3. Divide between 4 small bowls for serving. If desired for a larger serving, place a small amount of greens or spinach in serving bowls before adding broccoli.