Raw Broccoli And Basil Salad With Peanuts And Shallot RecipeRecipe By: Alison Roman
Try this recipe for Raw Broccoli and Basil Salad with Peanuts and Shallot from the Dining In cookbook.
Raw broccoli is a true gift to the salad world. It takes on dressing like a champ, fully absorbing whatever it’s bathed in without wilting, improving with time. This particular dish, which makes great leftovers, is the only excuse you need to seek out that really nice, young, tender broccoli you can pretty much find only at the farmer’s markets or in your nearest Chinatown. Larger, more adult broccoli is an acceptable substitute here; just make sure you cut the florets into small pieces and thinly slice the stalk (which is definitely edible and definitely delicious).
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise into rings
- Kosher salt
- ¾ lb. young broccoli (flowering broccoli, if possible)
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice, plus more as needed
- 1 tsp Asian fish sauce, plus more as needed
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup roasted, salted peanuts
- 1 cup Thai, lemon, and/or purple basil leaves, torn if large
- ½ cup cilantro, stems and leaves
- Heat the vegetable oil and shallots in a small pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally. The shallots will clump at first, but this is okay. As they cook, they will start to bubble and sizzle (this is the water leaving the shallots) and then begin to turn golden brown (this is them getting crispy). After the shallots are good and golden, about 6 minutes or so, remove them with a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel, and season with salt. Set the oil aside and let it cool slightly so you can use it in the next step.
- Cut any big pieces of broccoli in half lengthwise so they aren’t too large (you want longish, kind of elegant pieces, but nothing you couldn’t comfortably eat) and place them in a large bowl with the lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Massage the broccoli so it gets all tender and well seasoned. Add the peanuts, basil, cilantro, fried shallots, and 2 tablespoons of the reserved shallot oil.
- Toss everything together and season with more lime juice, fish sauce, salt, and pepper as needed. The salad should be pretty assertively flavored, but also refreshing, as if you could eat the whole bowl at once.
Note: Shallots can be fried 2 days ahead and kept tightly wrapped at room temperature.