The quantities are intentionally loose here—taste and season as you see fit! The constituent parts are really what matter.
This recipe is inspired in part by No. 7 Subs—which has a recipe for the Broccoli Classic (which includes pine nuts, fried shallots, and "Lychee Muchim") in A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches—and the broccoli sandwich at Boulenc in Oaxaca City. —Sarah Jampel
2 hungry people
cloves garlic, minced
red onion, thinly sliced into half moons (or sub in an equivalent amount of quick-pickled red onions)
Cut the broccoli into small florets—you want the florets to be small enough to cook quickly on the stovetop and not be cumbersome balanced on a sandwich.
Make the spicy mayonnaise: Squirt or dollop mayonnaise into a small bowl, squeeze Sriracha over top, then add a squeeze of lime juice to thin plus a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Whisk, taste, and adjust accordingly. You'll need enough to spread over the inside of all pieces of bread.
Now cook the broccoli: Over medium-high heat, get a cast-iron pan hot and coat the bottom with olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the broccoli florets. When they're sizzling and seared, flip the florets to brown the other side. Stir them around, checking to make sure they've browned, then cover the pan so that you cook the broccoli all the way through,
If you're using raw red onion instead of pickled (both are good; raw is easier), add the onion slivers and a sprinkle of smoked paprika, then stir and cover for another minute or so, until the onion has softened a bit. Remove the pan from the heat, add the minced garlic, stir so that the garlic cooks in the residual heat of the pan, and squeeze some lime juice over top. Season with salt to taste.
Cut the baguette into sandwich-sized lengths (whatever that means to you and your hunger!), then cut each length down its belly. To build a sandwich, spread both the top and bottom piece of bread with the spicy mayonnaise. Add the ricotta salata, either grated or crumbled, on the bottom bread, then top with broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and pickled red onions, if using. Sprinkle with torn cilantro leaves and close the sandwich with the top piece of bread. Eat!