One of my closest friends, Justin Wangler, and I first met at A. B. Tech Culinary School in my hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. Justin is currently the executive chef of Jackson Family Wines in California’s Sonoma Valley. The vineyard’s new cookbook, Season, was released in September. Below is a recipe Justin shared with me; he likes to serve it with Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.
- Kosher salt
- 2 bunches broccoli rabe
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon best-quality extra virgin olive oil
- Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil–packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground Aleppo pepper
- 2 tablespoons julienned preserved lemon rind
- 2 teaspoons sel gris
In a large pot, combine 4 quarts of water and 1/2 cup kosher salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl half full with water and ice.
Trim off the tough ends of the broccoli rabe stems, keeping each bunch intact. Using a pair of tongs, hold a broccoli rabe bunch by its leafy tops and submerge the stems in the boiling water for 1 minute. Then submerge the entire bunch in the boiling water and cook for 90 seconds longer. Lift the bunch out of the water and plunge it into the ice bath until cold. Repeat with the second bunch. Drain the broccoli rabe well, separate the bunches, and place on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
In a small pot, combine the garlic and the 3/4 cup oil over low heat and heat for about 6 minutes, until the garlic is soft but not golden. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Add the lemon zest and juice and the anchovy, and stir to combine.
In a large bowl, toss the dry broccoli rabe with the oil mixture to coat evenly. Transfer to a large, shallow airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
Using tongs, toss the broccoli rabe in the oil mixture, then transfer the broccoli rabe and oil mixture to a serving platter. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, then garnish with the Aleppo pepper, preserved lemon, and sel gris.
Serves 8—Recipe from Seasonby Justin Wangler and Tracey Shepos Cenami (Cameron, 2018)
One of the most memorable dishes of my recent trip to Abruzzo was served family-style at a dinner at the Hermes farm. We liberally splashed the pasta with the exclusive olive oil blend we’d just created.
- 12 ounces very small broccoli florets
- 8 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 or 2 oil-packed anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 4 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Steam the broccoli florets until they are very tender; set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain, but save a cup of the hot pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, sauté the garlic and hot red pepper flakes over medium heat until fragrant and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the steamed broccoli, anchovy, if using, and the salt, pepper, broth, and lemon zest. Bring to a gentle simmer. Start breaking down the broccoli with metal spoon or spatula into tiny pieces. (You basically want the broccoli to “melt.”) Continue to simmer over low heat until the liquid is reduced by half and the mixture has the consistency of a thick sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cheese until melted. Add the pasta and toss well. Add a spoonful or two of the reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve in warmed shallow bowls with additional olive oil for drizzling.
Serves 4—Recipe adapted from feastingathome.com
Bitter escarole and tender butter lettuce are united by a bright-tasting citrus vinaigrette you’ll make again and again.
- 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
- 1 Granny Smith apple, quartered, cored, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked
Combine the vinegar and next 6 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Mix the remaining ingredients in very large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat.
Serves 8 — Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2009