Ficelle Sandwich with Baby Broccoli and Pine-Nut Currant Relish
Ficelle Sandwich with Baby Broccoli and Pine-Nut Currant Relish Photo courtesy of Rob Stark Photography

Chefs have long favored strong, flavorful ingredients like garlic, chile and lemon as pairings for cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Not Suzanne Goin. At her new takeout-centric restaurant, the Larder at Maple Drive, the award-winning Los Angeles chef takes baby broccoli (or broccoli rabe) in an entirely different direction as a sandwich filling. Goin tosses the broccoli with a sweet-savory pine-nut relish, then heaps it into a baguette spread with creamy burrata cheese. Use fresh mozzarella if you can’t find burrata: Both cheeses provide the sort of cool, creamy counterpoint that turns this broccoli sandwich into a crave-worthy meal.

Makes 4 sandwiches
Start to Finish: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Pine Nut–Currant Relish

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small rosemary sprig

1 chile de árbol or other small red chile

1 small red onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)

Salt

⅓ cup dried currants

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Sandwich

8 ounces baby broccoli or broccoli rabe, trimmed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 chile de árbol or other small red chile

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Four 7-inch ficelles or baguettes

8 ounces burrata

Directions

1. Make the relish: In a small saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the rosemary and chile and cook, stirring occasionally, until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a medium bowl and discard the chile and rosemary.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the currants in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. Add the balsamic vinegar to the saucepan and reduce it by two thirds over medium-low heat. Add the reduced vinegar, currants, pine nuts and parsley to the onions. Season with salt, cover and set aside.

4. Make the sandwich: Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath. Blanch the broccoli for 30 seconds, then transfer to the ice-water bath to cool. Drain the broccoli.

5. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli and season with 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to a cutting board to cool.

6. Chop the broccoli into bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli with ¼ cup of the relish. (Reserve any remaining relish for another use.)

7. Slice the baguettes lengthwise, being careful not to cut all the way through the bread. Spread the burrata on one half of the baguettes, dividing it equally among the servings. Arrange the broccoli mixture over the cheese and close the sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • If you aren’t able to find burrata cheese, substitute 4 ounces of fresh buffalo mozzarella. Cut the cheese into ½-inch pieces and toss with the broccoli mixture before adding it to the sandwich.

  • For more great recipes from Suzanne Goin, check out her classic cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques.

  • Not sure what ficelle is? The truth is, you’ve probably seen the baguette-like bread at artisanal bakeries and just not known its name. Spot it easily by looking for a long, thin loaf with a hard crust and many air pockets.

From Around The Web