Garlicky-Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad

Melissa Clark is one of the food writers that I just trust. I have been cooking her recipes for years, and they are always excellent. She co-wrote many of my favorite cookbooks including the The Last Course with Claudia Fleming, which remains one of my all-time favorite books. Her new book, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite (named after her excellent column in the New York Times) is as appealing, fresh and wonderful to read as you might imagine. Clark really excels at recipes that are both familiar and somehow special. These are the recipes that I find myself wanting to cook, and the book is full of them.

I was immediately drawn to her Garlicky-Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad recipe, which just sounds delicious. Some fresh broccoli from the market is chopped up and allowed to sit in a dressing of sorts: toasted sesame oil, vinegar, and some pepper come together to create a really exceptional side dish. Something that even those of you dubious about broccoli will love (Bryan enjoyed it!). This is a perfect side dish but I imagine some of you will run with it and turn this into an entree. Add some rice? Maybe some other vegetables? Whatever you do, try it.

Garlicky-Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad (adapted very slightly from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetiteby Melissa Clark)

  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 heads broccoli, 1 pound each, cut into bite-size florets
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons roasted (Asian) sesame oil
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Black sesame seeds (to taste, I added a couple of tablespoons)

In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar and salt. Add the broccoli and toss to combine.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Pour the mixture over the broccoli and toss well. Let sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or chilled, up to 48 hours (chill it if you want to keep it for more than 2 hours). Adjust the seasonings (it may need more salt), add the black sesame seeds and serve.

20 comments to “Garlicky-Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad”

  1. Looks glorious, as always, but do you really really mean 3/4 of a CUP of oil? My. How much of it gets left behind in the bowl?

  2. Funny, I was just thinking how I really want broccoli for dinner tonight. It looks really good – i’m thinking I’l add a little rice and umebushi plums as I lie my salads to morph into light meals :) Yum!

  3. Hi Alanna, Yes! I do mean 3/4 cup of oil. Olive oil is good for you AND this is a lot of broccoli–about 8 servings. And sure, some of it stays in the bowl. Feel free to reduce to whatever you are comfortable with.

  4. …a bowl of greens accompanied with a simple baked potato topped with garlicky-sesame-cured broccoli.
    thank you for another wonderful fall treasure.

  5. I am always open to new ways to eat broccoli, and this sounds really superb. Be prepared for increased traffic to your site due to this recipe, ever since I posted a broccoli salad it is the #1 search term that brings people to my site. Who knew broccoli would make me more popular?

  6. How easy is that?? thanks for sharing!

  7. I made a version of this back when it first appeared in the NYT, and I can vouch for its tastiness (I recall liking it even better on the second day). Melissa Clark is one of my favorites too. I always look forward to her column. I have yet to get my hands on her new book. Thanks for reminding me of this great salad.

  8. I have been making this recipe for a couple years now, and it is my favorite way to eat broccoli now.

    It stays good in the refrigerator for days, so it makes a great addition to a brown-bag lunch.

  9. We had the absolute pleasure this week of having Melissa at Omnivore Books here in San Francisco, and I’ve also been loving this new cookbook! So far, I’ve played with the red lentil soup and the sweet potato and chipotle glazed chicken is in the oven. The fact that she is as wonderful in person as her columns hint at, makes the food taste even better.

  10. this sounds a lot like a salad that a place in berkeley called the juicebar collective serves, except they’ve got carrots in their version…so i HIGHLY recommend adding carrots to this. really delicious.

  11. Thanks for all of the good comments, everyone! I am glad to hear that this recipe already has some fans out there. I’m looking forward to trying the technique with other vegetables, etc..
    Happy cooking everyone!

  12. I just recently acquired a new found appreciation for broccoli (see my website for my “gateway” recipe. I can’t wait to try this though. I think that most of us remember having broccoli boiled till flaccid and gray, hence so much fear :) I like it with crunch and heft. This recipe seems to have that and more.

    Love ur site! Can’t wait to read more


  13. Just wonderful! I spent a large part of last year making Ottolenghis broccoli char-grilled broccoli salad, which is excellent. I would love another broccoli side, and this seems like it!

  14. I can taste the earthy roasted nutty-ness: wonderful way to bring exceptional flavor in an everyday side.

  15. I love me some broccoli! This looks so flavouful and delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  16. maybe this will ‘cure’ my hatred of brussel sprouts? if i find any more in my CSA box, I’m trying this technique out on them!!!

  17. This looks absolutely delicious! Question – is there a large difference between roasted sesame oil and regular sesame oil? I haven’t been able to find roasted… Thanks!

  18. Hi Leah, Cold-pressed sesame oil has a different flavor than roasted/toasted sesame oil. You want the toasted oil. It is a darked brown color and available in the Asian aisle of grocery stores, usually in a smallish bottle.

  19. Thanks for sharing this recipe – it sounds amazing, exactly how I’d want to eat brocoli. No more lurking at the back of the fridge for my brocoli!

  20. This looks so good! I always love anything garlickly.

What do you think?