Every once in a while I stumble across a recipe and become fixated on it. No sleep until I make it. Okay, this is actually more of a recurring theme in my life. This charred broccoli salad with arugula and smoked cheddar is one of those recipes. It intrigued me. I mean, what doesn’t sound good about a salad with homemade dressing, smoked cheddar cheese, fresh arugula, and charred broccoli?
When my Bon Appetit magazine comes every month, I flip through it and earmark a few recipes I want to try. The September issue had this grilled broccoli and arugula salad in the R.S.V.P. column, which is a column where BA publishes recipes from restaurant menus. The salad is like an adult’s dressed up version of frozen broccoli with Velveeta.
I don’t know why, but BA’s pictures always look so much more vibrant than my pictures, especially the dressing… I didn’t look at the online picture of the salad before I made it. The magazine just has a black and white, cartoonish type drawing. Also, it looks like they used a smoked white cheddar cheese while I used a regular orange cheese.
The salad dressing is very green. I don’t know why this surprised me. The dressing has chervil, tarragon, and chives… all green. I used parsley in place of chervil because the grocery store didn’t have any chervil and I wasn’t about to drive all over looking for it. Also, if you’re not a big tarragon fan, or haven’t used it very often, consider halving the amount in the recipe. I found the tarragon to be a bit strong for my tastes. It has a sort of licorice-type taste.
You can serve this charred broccoli salad with arugula and smoked cheddar a variety of ways. I tried it both warm and cold. Think I prefer it better chilled. I also made it a main dish salad by adding chicken and pumpkin seeds. Or just adding pumpkin seeds to the recipe and serving it as a side salad would work too. I’m calling my recipe charred instead of grilled because I didn’t cook the broccoli over a grill, just charred it in my cast iron skillet. Either works though. Give it a try, let me know what you think!
- 2 heads of broccoli florets
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 oil-packed anchovy fillet
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup chervil with tender sprigs can substitute parsley
- 1 cup tarragon leaves or reduce to 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 cups baby arugula original recipe calls for 3 cups mature arugula
- 3.5 oz smoked cheddar grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook broccoli in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes, until bright green and crisp tender.
Then drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let cool and drain.
Pat broccoli dry and place in a large bowl.
Next, heat a medium-sized skillet (cast iron) over medium high heat.
Toss broccoli in olive oil. Season with salt.
Char broccoli in cast iron skillet, turning occasionally.
Cook until broccoli is charred in spots, about 5-10 minutes.
Return to bowl and let cool.
Meanwhile, to make dressing, puree anchovy, garlic, mayonnaise, buttermilk, chervil, tarragon, chives, lemon juice, and mustard in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss arugula with charred broccoli.
Drizzle with 3/4 cup dressing.
Finally, top with smoked cheddar.