March 8, 2022

Roasted Broccolini with Romesco Sauce and Pecorino

Recipe: Matt Cusano

Try this Roasted Broccolini with Romesco Sauce and Pecorino recipe from the new cookbook, Island Eats: Signature Chefs’ Recipes from Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea.

The roasted broccolini from Boom + Batten’s Matt Cusano is delicious on its own, but the tangy romesco sauce puts it over the top. Great served as an appetizer or as a side to steak, chicken, fish—just about anything.


Romesco Sauce

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar

Roasted Broccolini

  • 2 lbs broccolini, ends trimmed
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Sprig of thyme, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon


  • 1 cup shaved Pecorino Romano


Yield: Serves 4 (as a side dish)

Romesco Sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place red peppers and tomatoes on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until peppers are blistered and dark.
  2. Place peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place tomato halves in a separate bowl, uncovered, and set aside to cool. Reserve any pan juices.
  3. Gently remove tomato skin and discard. Repeat with red peppers, and then remove the stems and seeds. Roughly chop tomatoes. Again, reserve any juices.
  4. In a blender, combine tomatoes and peppers, with any reserved juices, and the remaining ingredients. Blend on high until smooth. Set sauce aside.

Roasted Broccolini

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, combine broccolini, 1/4 cup oil and salt and pepper. Toss well, then space out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, until tender.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and thyme and sauté for 1 minute, then stir in panko crumbs and paprika. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until panko crumbs turn light brown. Transfer mixture to a bowl, add lemon zest and stir.


  1. Spoon a generous amount of romesco sauce onto the centre of each plate and use the back of the spoon to spread evenly in a circle. Stack broccolini high on the plate, then sprinkle Pecorino Romano and toasted panko overtop.

Gabriel Cabrera


Excerpted from Island Eats: Signature Chefs’ Recipes from Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea by Dawn Postnikoff and Joanne Sasvari. Photographs by Gabriel Cabrera and Danika McDowell. Recipes copyright © 2021 by individual restaurants. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.