I was doing okay. Enjoying the snow, my big chunky winter socks and all that is cozy. There were no spring visions dancing in my head. Until, laying on the couch, eyes closed, the sun shone directly on me. Suddenly flower buds danced behind my eyes. I could feel summer and the spring craze came in a flash.
Unfortunatly, Spring is still a few weeks off. But this salad hits all the right spots. It’s like an I’m-ready-for-fresh-summer-foods meets Warm-winter-comfort-food mirical. We don’t bother with large tomatoes in the winter. They have a reputation to disappoint. Cherry tomatoes, however, taste pretty spritely any time of year and roasting them in olive oil until just charred and popping brings out the most robust summer flavors you could hope for.
This salad goes especially well with a nice oaky red and if you sip and close your eyes you can almost feel the warm breeze of a summer patio dinner at dusk. Oh, Happy sipping my friends!
Baby broccoli and roasted tomato salad
For the fried garlic
- olive oil as need
- 4 garlic cloves
For the onions
- 1 large white onion
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup beef stock
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
For the vegetables
- 1 lb baby broccoli
- 12 oz cherry tomatoes mixed colors
- 1 15.5 oz can great northern beans drained, rinsed
- flaky pink Himalayan salt
For the bread
- crusty rustic bread
Prep all veggies by washing and trimming them. Any large stalks of broccoli should be cut in half lengthwise for faster cooking. Peel and slice the garlic lengthwise. Peel the onion, cut it in half and slice it thin.
Heat about 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high. Stir in sliced garlic and saute until the garlic is just golden brown 2-3 minutes. Turn once or twice during cooking. Remove garlic from skillet.
Add onion to skillet and turn heat down to medium-low. Saute onion until translucent and slightly brown. Add the red wine, beef stock, and thyme to the onions. Cook down until all the liquid is absorbed and the onions are fragrant, tender and brown. Add great northern beans and heat through over low heat. 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat.
In a second heavy skillet, while onions are cooking, heat about 3 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the broccoli making sure not to overcrowd the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute about 4 minutes turning it over halfway through. Cover with a lid and steam broccoli until tender about 5 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the skillet to a large serving tray, tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Repeat cooking process with second half of the broccoli. Add to tray and tent with foil.
Refresh the olive oil in broccoli pan by adding 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add the cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook on one side until the tomatoes start popping and are a light to medium brown on the bottom side. Turn all tomatoes over and cook for another 2 minutes. Do not cook the tomatoes down into a sauce. Remove from heat.
Toss the onions, beans, broccoli, tomatoes, and crispy garlic on the serving tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with chunks of crusty bread spread with mascarpone cheese.