Learning from the very best, I have developed the habit or, perhaps more appropriately termed, the inability to follow a recipe.
Neither my mother nor I are capable of following the instructions, let alone the ingredient list of a printed recipe.
It’s not that we feel we are superior or that our way is any better than the published suggestions. I believe it’s more that we just feel like we want to do what we want to do.
Thus, I was inspired to create this amazing concoction while reading my most recent issue of Bon Appétit Magazine cover to cover one lazy afternoon. Superiority Burger’s Charred Broccoli Salad with Eggplant Puree sounds “superiorly” delicious. And this little version of my own is pretty darn good as well.
Burnt Broccoli and Eggplant Silk
1 small head of broccoli, chopped (including stems)
1 tsp. coriander powder
sea salt and pepper
2 medium eggplant
2 Tbs. freshly ground peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 tsp. mellow miso paste
2 tsp. fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped and divided
2 Tbs. fresh mint, finely chopped and divided
sea salt and pepper
1 tsp. red chili paste
In a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat, toast the coriander powder until nice and aromatic. Add the broccoli, sea salt, and pepper. Continue to dry roast until the broccoli is coated in seasoning (stirring, of course) and charred on all surfaces.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Puncture the eggplant a few times with a fork and place on the top oven rack to roast whole for about 45 minutes, until bubbly brown on the outside and super soft when squeezed.
Once cool enough to handle, peel the eggplant and place in the food processor with the nut butter, miso, fish sauce, lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 Tbs. mint, and salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
To serve, portion burnt broccoli over the silky eggplant purée, drizzle with red chili paste, and garnish with additional cilantro and mint.