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A Roasted Little Forest: Broccoli, Mushrooms and Tomato Salad

Where the broccoli florets are charred little trees, mushrooms are… well, larger-than-life Alice in Wonderland proportions next to the trees, and there are giant roasted red stuff. Plus fairy dust in the form of grated cheese. I’m really pushing it, aren’t I.

Anyway, this is the kind of dish where you can just throw stuff together, watch a sitcom while you’re at it, and then devour with a feeling that life is simple and good. This would be a good accompaniment to a roasted meat dish. Roasted lamb? Roasted chicken? Anything seasoned with thyme or rosemary, and delicious oily drippings.

Roasted Broccoli, Mushroom, and Tomato Salad

For the roasted tomatoes:

  • 3-4 pieces of medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt

For the rest: (good for 3-4 fairly hungry people if this is the only dish, good for 4-6 if you’re having other dishes)

  • 2 heads of broccoli (cut the florets to roughly the diameter of an inch. the point is not to make them too big)
  • 5-6 shiitake mushrooms (or as much as you like) sliced into 1/3in thk sections
  • oyster mushrooms (as much as you like)
  • zest of 1 lemon (save the juice)
  • Made In Napa Valley Poultry herb rub (which contains sea salt, lemon and citrus zest, chili flakes, thyme, pepper, garlic, and other unnamed spices) (if you don’t have that, you should be okay with even just sea salt, pepper, and chopped fresh thyme. you might even want to try some other spices.)
  • grated romano cheese (in this case, the romano from the Perfect Italiano freebies)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

The Roasted Tomatoes

Which were so good, my mom sneaked several pieces until I told her to save some for the salad. These tomatoes have many uses beyond the dish, so you might want to make it in a giant batch altogether and store it submerged in olive oil in tightly covered glass jars (you can add it to salads later on, or pasta, paninis, etc.). I’m grateful for coming across Cheryl Sternman Rule’s recipe for it here. Instead of using 3-4 cloves for 2 pounds of small-medium tomatoes, I use an even crazier amount of garlic. GARLIC <3<3<3

  1. Slice tomatoes to 1/4 to 1/3in thick slices. Lay them on a pan with a baking sheet/parchment.
  2. Smash garlic cloves and grind with a mortar and pestle. Mush.
  3. Add the 1/4 cup of olive oil and kosher salt, mix with the garlic as close to a creamy paste as you can get.
  4. Spoon a little mound of the paste on each tomato, spreading it out a bit and filling the cavities on the slice.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Roast in the oven for about 15-30 minutes (or longer), depending on how fast they shrivel up, release their juices, and become a bit (only a bit) burnt on the edges.
  7. Set aside

**If you plan on making a large batch, cool completely before storing in the glass jars.

The Salad

  1. Mix fresh lemon zest with the olive oil, and herb rub seasoning (or the other herbs/spices you plan to use).
  2. On a parchment-lined pan, spread out the broccoli florets and mushrooms.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil mixture over them with a spoon. Make sure to get herbs on top of the broccoli and mushrooms. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven for approx 15-20 minutes, or until the broccoli starts to brown a bit on the edges. (Don’t make them brown as much if you plan on roasting them with the cheese later on)
  5. Place inside a wide plate and add the roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Roast in oven for approx. 5 minutes, or until cheese melts a bit. If you don’t want to melt the cheese, just cook the broccoli to a fairly browned state the first time around.
  6. Spritz some lemon juice for a brighter taste.
  7. Bon appetit.


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: A Seven Course Cheese Dinner « How We Are Hungry

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