Local chef and co-owner of Saffron and World Street Kitchen restaurants, Sameh Wadi, has just published a cookbook, titled The New Mediterranean Table. The newspapers have printed a few recipes from his cookbook, and we were intrigued by the ingredients and wanted to try them.
This recipe included one of our favorite new vegetables, broccolini, paired with grilled lemons, roasted pine nuts, and ground Aleppo chile. If you can’t find Aleppo chile (dried or ground), it’s no surprise. The namesake is the city of Aleppo, which is in war-torn Syria. Some reports say Aleppo chile powder is similar to ancho chile powder, but Aleppo chiles have more heat. Others suggest you can substitute 4 parts sweet paprika + 1 part cayenne powder for the ground Aleppo chile, and that would probably be a better approximation.
The recipe presented here may seem complicated, but trust us, it’s not. Just prepare the lemon mixture portion of the recipe before preparing the broccolini.
One other tip, which may be obvious to you, but which we missed: cutting the broccolini into smaller pieces makes serving (and eating) easier!
1 lb. broccolini
3 lemons, seeded, 1 thinly sliced crosswise, 2 halved
canola oil, for brushing
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp finely minced chives
ground Aleppo chile
To prepare grill: Heat gas or charcoal grill to high heat.
To cook broccolini: Fill large bowl with salted ice water. Set aside. In large saucepan of slated boiling water, cook broccolini for 3 minutes or until almost tender. Drain immediately. Immerse in ice water to cool completely. Drain. Pat dry with paper towel.
To grill lemon: Brush lemon slices and halves with oil. Grill over high heat. Turn slices. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Grill halves on cut side for 5 to 7 minutes or until heavily charred. Set aside to cool. Transfer slices to cutting board, Set aside to cool.
Finely dice lemon slices. Reserve in mixing bowl. Squeeze grilled halves to extract juice. Combine with diced grilled lemon. Add shallot and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt. Marinate for 10 minutes.
To toast pine nuts: Meanwhile, heat large skillet over moderate heat. Add butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Heat until butter starts t bubble. Add pine nuts. Toast, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until golden. Using slotted spoon, remove pine nuts from pan. Set aside.
To warm broccolini: Add broccolini to skillet. Heat, tossing for 5 minutes or until warmed through. (Note: add small amounts of olive oil if necessary.)
To finish lemon mixture: Add remaining olive oil to grilled lemon and shallot mixture. Add parsley and chives. Whisk to combine.
To serve: Divide broccolini among individual serving plates. Spoon some lemon mixture over broccolini. Garnish with pine nuts. Sprinkle with Aleppo chile powder.
Serves 6 to 8.]