By Kelly DiNardo
As we pay greater attention to where our food comes from, our health and the health of what we’re consuming, even the most carnivorous eaters are taking a break from meat – at least occasionally. Of course, it can be challenging to follow Meatless Monday, the international campaign to eat vegetarian on Mondays, without making it Carb-Lovers’ Monday. So we’ve turned to area chefs for a little inspiration.
Logan Cox wanted to use broccoli in a simple, but creative way – forget steamed or covered in cheese. This dish lets people appreciate the pure flavor of broccoli, while at the same time adding some texture and deepening the flavor of the dish with toasted walnuts.
Chilled Broccoli Puree with Walnut Salad and Maldon Sea Salt
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 1 yellow onion, julienne
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
- 1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup walnut oil
- 3 tablespoons walnut vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- 1/4 cup flat parsley leaves
- Sweat the onion in olive oil on low heat for about 25 min with a pinch of salt. You still want the onion white so this has to be very low heat and will take a while. Once the onion is completely soft, pull of the heat and let chill to room temperature in the pan.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli heads cut into small but equally cut sizes, blanch until tender and chill immediately in ice water.
- In a blender, add the cooked onions, including the olive oil, chilled/blanched broccoli, and about a 1/2 cup of ice water. Blend this mixture till completely smooth (try to avoid the mixture from getting hot while blending). Reserve puree separately.
- Mix the toasted walnuts, walnut oil, and walnut vinegar in a bowl with some chopped chives and picked flat leaf parsley leaves with a little kosher salt to taste.
- On a plate, place a decorative pattern of the chilled broccoli puree, spoon some of the dressed walnut salad on top, then sprinkle maldon sea salt over the whole thing.