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Sesame Roasted Broccoli

It’s rare that a vegetable steals the show. In a recent dinner at EOS Wine Salon, the sesame roasted broccoli did just that. It was perfectly cooked, with a salty, nutty sauce.

Roasted broccoli is a staple in our kitchen. The basic recipe follows Cooks Illustrated — put a sheet pan in the oven and pre-heat to 500°, toss broccoli with olive oil, salt, and a pinch of sugar, and cook the broccoli on the pre-heated pan for 8-10 minutes. It’s salty, sweet, and a little bit crunchy on the ends. I’ve toyed with adding various seasonings, but never had much luck. A little bit of extra sauce doesn’t really add anything. Inspired by the dish at EOS, I came up with a gem.

Sesame Roasted Broccoli

Sesame Roasted Broccoli

After trying the sesame roasted broccoli at EOS, I thought of using tahini, or sesame paste. Tahini is thick, which helps the sauce coat the broccoli and get into all the little crevices. It has a strong nutty flavor when roasted, sort of a blend of sesame oil and peanut butter. This makes a great side with grilled chicken or fish.

Sesame Roasted Broccoli
– serves 4 as a side -

1 lb of broccoli — about 3 heads, with stems.
3 Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. sugar

1. Put a sheet pan in the oven and pre-heat to 500°.

2. Prep the broccoli. If the ends of the stem are dried out, trim an inch or so. But you want to leave most of the stem. It has a lot of flavor and some moisture that will prevent the crown from drying out in the high heat. The recipe won’t work quite as well with just florets. Cut each head of broccoli into quarters.

3. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl. If it’s more of a paste than a sauce, you can thin it out with a little bit of vegetable oil, sesame oil, or water. It just depends on how thick your tahini is. You want it to be a thick sauce, but still pourable.

4. Toss the broccoli with the sauce until it’s evenly coated.

5. Put the broccoli on the pre-heated pan and roast for 8-10 minutes.

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