The leaves of the broccoli plant, dressed with a peppery parmesan vinaigrette, tossed with sweet cherry tomatoes and topped with a scattering of broccoli blossoms.
This recipe was originally featured in There's More to Broccoli.
2 ounces tender broccoli leaves
1 Tablespoon champagne vinegar
Generous pinch coarse salt and a few grinds of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1/4 cup Parmigiano-reggiano cheese that has been finely grated (eg, with a Microplane)
About 5-8 cherry tomatoes
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Broccoli blossoms (if available)
1. Rinse and dry the leaves if needed. Cut the large leaves crosswise into fat ribbons. (No need to cut the smaller leaves).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, black pepper and mustard. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, in thin dribbles at first. Whisk vigorously to combine thoroughly. Stir in the red pepper and cheese.
3. Cut the tomatoes vertically (from stem to blossom end) into fourths and combine them in a bowl with the leaves. Toss the leaves and tomatoes with the vinaigrette. (If you have fewer leaves, you may not need all of the vinaigrette. You can save the rest of it for salads). Drizzle the lemon juice over everything, top with blossoms if using, and serve.
Broccoli leaves: Although most heads of broccoli sold in supermarkets have been fairly thoroughly stripped of their leaves, this is not always the case with broccoli found at farmers markets or in CSAs. If you are growing broccoli in a backyard garden, you may find yourself with some extra leaves, and you may also occasionally find bunches of broccoli leaves and blossoms (separate from the broccoli) at a farmers market or CSA.
Broccoli blossoms: If your broccoli has been hanging around the kitchen for a bit too long, it may begin to flower. Also, you may find bunches of broccoli blossoms at a farmers market or CSA. The blossoms are delicate, so best added at the end as a garnish on the finished dish. They are completely optional in this recipe, so if you don't have them, don't worry.
If you only have a few leaves, you can still make this recipe of course! You can halve the vinaigrette recipe and/or make the whole batch and only use as much of it as you need. You can refrigerate the rest of the dressing to use on any salad (though you may want to only add the red pepper to the portion you are using for this recipe).