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Author Notes: This recipe is a big mish-mash of so, so many of my favorite salads, including my grilled bread salad with broccoli rabe and summer squash, and charred broccoli and lentil salad. It’s perfect for a hot, sticky summer day (a daily special of the Washington DC area) when even the thought of turning on the oven sends beads of sweat down your back. It comes together easily--marinate the broccoli early in the day, then grill it and some crusty bread near dinnertime and your salad will easily fall into place. My favorite part of this salad is the tahini-yogurt marinade. The yogurt in the marinade tenderizes the broccoli before it ever hits the grill, and the tahini imparts a ton of flavor. Together, they promote a gorgeous char on the grill. It’s a big, bold, gutsy salad--a low effort, high reward type of dinner that’s just right for summer, or anytime of year. —EmilyC
- 2/3 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
- 1/3 cup tahini, well-stirred
- 3 fat cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin (or crushed cumin seed)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
- Grated zest and juice of 2 small lemons (about 3 tablespoons of juice)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For rest of salad
- About 1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns
- 2 tablespoons tahini, well-stirred
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- 4 1/2-inch slices from a loaf of crusty bread (such as ciabatta or sourdough)
- 1 cup shredded carrots (from 2 to 3 carrots)
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- A large handful of basil, roughly torn
- Lemon juice, for serving
- To prepare the tahini-yogurt marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth and emulsified. If you’re using Greek or skyr yogurt, you may need to add a bit more extra-virgin olive oil to loosen the marinade.
- Wash and trim the broccoli crowns. Slice the crowns into 1/2-inch flat slabs. It’s fine if smaller florets fall off in the process (grill those too!), just try to get the broccoli about the same thickness so it cooks at the same rate.
- Add the broccoli to the marinade and toss well to coat. You want the marinade to coat every little nook and cranny of the florets. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours, or until the yogurt starts to slacken the crunch of the raw broccoli.
- Heat the grill to medium-high and brush your grates clean, then brush with olive oil.
- In a small bowl, mix together the tahini, olive oil, and a pinch of salt until smooth. Brush each slice of bread with the tahini/olive oil, using just enough to evenly coat each side.
- Grill the bread a few minutes per side (checking frequently), or until charred in spots but still soft in the middle. Let the bread cool, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
- After the bread comes off the grill, arrange the broccoli in a single, even layer. I like to use a perforated grill tray (brushed with a little oil), but you can grill the broccoli directly over the grates. Grill the broccoli on the first side until nicely charred (lift up a piece or two to check), then flip the broccoli and continue grilling until the broccoli is tender and nicely blistered. Remember, char equals flavor so don’t hesitate to get some color on the broccoli! Tip: transfer your grilled broccoli back to the same bowl that you marinated it in (and don’t wash it -- the little bit of marinade that remains in the bowl makes a delicious dressing). Once cool, cut the broccoli into more bite-size pieces, if desired.
- Arrange the bread cubes and broccoli on a large serving platter. Toss in the shredded carrots, then scatter the almonds and basil. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.