- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- Serves 4
Warning: This recipe says it serves 4, but you might end up devouring all these sandwiches yourself. First, thinly sliced broccoli gets caramelized and then marinated with lots of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Then it’s layered with tender slices of fresh mozzarella and slightly licorice-y basil on an Arnold®, Brownberry®, or Oroweat® Potato Hot Dog Bun. And, what’s more—the buns are toasted in butter until deep golden, providing a crisp, buttery partner for the cool, creamy cheese and crunchy broccoli. Are you salivating yet? (I am.)
In our household of two, I love making a big batch of lemony broccoli and keeping it in the fridge for instant sandwich gratification—just toast a bun and lop off a couple slices of mozzarella. Boom, an incredible instant lunch. —Asha Loupy
Test Kitchen Notes
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
large broccoli crowns (about 16 ounces), cut into large florets and then thinly sliced
kosher salt, divided
large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 teaspoons
red pepper flakes
whole fennel seeds
Zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3–4 tablespoons)
Arnold®, Brownberry®, or Oroweat® Potato Hot Dog Buns
(8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
large fresh basil leaves
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and continue to heat for another 30 seconds. Add half the broccoli, arranging it in a single layer, and cook, undisturbed, until it starts to caramelize and turn a deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, stir, and continue to cook, undisturbed, until the broccoli is tender-crisp, about another 2 minutes. Transfer the caramelized broccoli to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining half of the broccoli.
- Return the skillet to medium heat after cooking the broccoli and heat the last 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds, and sauté until the garlic starts to turn light brown, about 30 seconds to a minute. Transfer the cooked garlic mixture to the same bowl with the broccoli.
- Add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Wipe out the skillet used for cooking the broccoli and garlic, and return it to medium heat. Melt the butter and when sizzling, add the hot dog buns, cut-side down, and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- To assemble, arrange a quarter of the mozzarella in a single layer on the bottom of the bun. Top with 4 basil leaves, shingling them slightly. Mound a quarter of the lemony broccoli mixture on top of the basil and mozzarella layers, then finish with the top bun. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.