Charred Broccoli with Ginger Sesame Sauce from "Dishing Up the Dirt"Dishing Up the Dirt by Andrea Bemis
I shy away from sharing side dish-style recipes because they tend to not go over as well as the mains, treats, or even breakfasts here. Most of my meals are formulated around what many would consider “sides” though. Maybe it’s weird that I’m sharing this just ahead of Easter, but when I find myself at those family get-togethers, I’m usually loading up my plate with vegetable sides and the goods from the slightly neglected salad bowl. So in the midst of carrot cakes, pastel treats, Easter brunch menus, and chocolate goodies, there’s broccoli! :)

The recipe comes from Dishing Up the Dirt, which is a new book based on the blog of the same name by Andrea Bemis. This is a vegetable lover’s handbook through and through. I love how Andrea specifies on her site that her blog isn’t a vegetarian blog. It’s a destination for people who love and respect fresh vegetables. Her debut cookbook follows through on that message. It’s organized by season and features a helpful section on sauces.

If you have a decently stocked pantry, you’ll love how easy it is to throw together a lot of Andrea’s recipes in the book. Her dishes are considerate of the time spent cooking with and actually procuring your ingredients. She gives you a bunch of ways to use the more unusual pantry stuffs and her sauces/cooking methods/garnishes could be applied to lots of seasonal vegetable freestyling.

I took the ginger sesame sauce that she pairs with grilled bok choy, and drizzled it over some dry-roasted/charred broccoli because that’s what I had on hand. It was so tasty! The fresh salty zing of the sauce is brilliant with greens and brassicas of all kinds. Once you have the ingredients out, this one comes together in 15 minutes.

Charred Broccoli with Ginger Sesame Sauce from "Dishing Up the Dirt"Charred Broccoli with Ginger Sesame Sauce from "Dishing Up the Dirt"
From Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons by Andrea Bemis
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: Andrea’s recipe in the book has this tasty sauce paired with grilled bok choy, which sounds so good! The sauce really is quite diverse though. If you want to turn this into a main, you could throw some cubed firm tofu or chickpeas in with the broccoli as it chars, tumble all of that goodness on top of some brown rice or quinoa, and then smother it in the sauce and a handful of sesame seeds. Last thing: Andrea calls for low sodium soy sauce, but I only had tamari on hand so cut her 3 1/2 tablespoons back to 2.

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (I use a Microplane so that it dissolved into the dressing)
2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar, unseasoned
1 1/2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1 bunch of broccoli, broken into medium-sized florets (about 1lb of broccoli florets total)
lime zest and juice, optional

In a sealable jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the ginger, tamari, rice vinegar, honey/maple syrup, and sesame oil. Close the lid on the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, throw the broccoli into the skillet and let it char on one side before stirring. Keep stirring and moving the broccoli. Once the broccoli is evenly charred and bright green, transfer it to a large bowl and quickly cover the bowl with plastic wrap so that it can steam slightly. Let the broccoli sit in the bowl for about 3 minutes.

Transfer the charred broccoli to your serving platter. Spoon the ginger sesame sauce on top (you may not need all of it) and garnish the broccoli with the sesame seeds and lime zest. Sprinkle with lime juice if you like.

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