Charred Broccoli with Butternut Hummus and Smoked Cashew Crumble
Photo by Michael Piazza / Styled by Catrine Kelty
Submitted by Chef Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow, Cambridge
Chef Scelfo’s mother served him a lot of broccoli as a child, so he’s always trying new ways with one of his favorite vegetables. He gets local broccoli for the restaurant from Verrill Farm in Concord.
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and deseeded
½ cup honey
2½ cups extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons cracked Szechuan peppercorns, divided
6 ounces scallions
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
14 ounces smoked and toasted cashews (Chef Scelfo makes these in-house at the restaurant; smoked almonds will work perfectly as a substitute.)
1 tablespoon Urfa pepper (a dark, smoky Turkish pepper available at specialty shops and online)
1 cup lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut butternut squash into large pieces and toss with honey, ½ cup olive oil, coriander and 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns. Roast until soft and slightly caramelized, about 30–40 minutes.
Meanwhile, sear scallions in a hot skillet in 1 tablespoon olive oil, until lightly charred; season with salt and pepper, let cool, then slice thinly. In a high-powered blender (like a VitaMix), puree cashews or almonds with 1½ cups olive oil, Urfa pepper and remaining Szechuan peppercorns until smooth. Set aside.
In a food processor, puree the roasted squash, cashew or almond mixture, remaining olive oil, lemon juice and scallion until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
½ cup toasted, smoked cashews or almonds
½ cup grated Bianco Sardo cheese, or substitute Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano
Grind nuts in a food processor until fine, add cheese, and pulse until combined. Set aside.
2 heads broccoli
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
¼ cup honey
Salt and pepper
Light a charcoal grill or heat a grill pan until smoking hot. Cut broccoli into medium sized florets (about 3 inches long, and 2 inches wide). Toss in a large bowl with 4 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill until well-charred, while still retaining some crunch. Remove broccoli from the grill and place back in seasoning bowl. Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper and half of the cashew-or-almond crumble, then drizzle in the honey and remaining olive oil. Toss to combine and season with more salt if needed.
To serve, smear a spoonful of butternut hummus on each plate, top with some charred broccoli and more cashew crumble. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
This recipe appeared in the Winter 2015 issue.