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Dinner Tonight

Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Chives, and Tomato

Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Chives, and Tomato

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

After that weekend, we're probably all ready for a break. I could avoid turkey for months without a problem (my last four posts have all involved the bird in one form or another, and I think I might have overdone it). Either way, something as simple and crunchy and filling as a broccoli salad is certainly welcome at my table.

Although this is a bit of a Southern classic, for some reason I went with British chef Jamie Oliver on this one, since a mayonnaise-drenched preparation wasn't what I was after. Still, I couldn't turn down the bacon, which is a natural pairing with broccoli. Oliver takes the hot bacon fat and turns it into a creamy, bright dressing with white wine vinegar. Scattered chives give it all that subtle, sweet onion flavor. What I really liked was the way he cooked the broccoli: Blanched for just more than a minute, it yields its raw texture to a bright, just-barely crunchy state. For some reason, this elevates the dish from side dish to suitable dinner.

Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Chives, and Tomato

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After spending a year in Estonia, he now lives in Chicago.

Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Chives, and Tomato

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About This Recipe

Yield:2

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of broccoli, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 roma tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh chives (15 to 20), finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedures

  1. 1

    Bring a large pot of salty water to boil. In the meantime, trim the woody end from the broccoli heads and break it up into small florets. Slice them into 1/4-inch thick pieces so they cook quickly and evenly. When the water comes to a boil, blanch the broccoli for 1-2 minutes, until they are starting to get tender but still have bite in the middle. Drain in a colander and spread out on a kitchen towel to steam dry, about 15 minutes.

  2. 2

    In the meantime, cook the bacon in a large skillet with a splash of olive oil over medium-low heat until the fat renders into the pan and the bacon is crisp but still slightly chewy.

  3. 3

    Drain the fat collected in the bacon pan into a bowl and add the garlic, dijon, and vinegar. Whisk well to combine into an emulsion, then add the olive oil slowly in a stream, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and taste also for acidity, adding more vinegar or oil if needed.

  4. 4

    Toss the broccoli with the tomatos, bacon, and dressing. Top with chives and serve.

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