In this open-faced sandwich, the broccolini is the star. Broccolini a slightly sweet hybrid of broccoli and the Asian vegetable gai lan is loaded with calcium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A and D, which maintain the immune system. This French and Italian inspired tartine is paired with creamy burrata (literally Italian for “buttery”), which oozes sweetly atop the charred broccolini, crunchy walnut pesto, and pan-toasted crusty bread. The smoky flavors mellow the broccolini’s slightly bitter, nutty character, but the greens stay bright and snappy. Serves 4.
1 cup raw walnuts
1 clove peeled garlic
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling on bread
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces broccolini, rough stem ends trimmed, any thick stems, sliced lengthwise, very thin.
4 slices country loaf (about 8 ounces total weight)
8 ounces burrata cheese, divided into 4 pieces
4 peppadew sweet pickled peppers, sliced thin
- Heat a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring occasionally until toasted in parts, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
- Add the garlic to the food processor and process until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add parsley, basil, thyme, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and pulse until very finely chopped, about 30 times.
- While still processing, slowly drizzle in ¼ cup olive oil. Transfer to a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Wipe the skillet the nuts were in, then heat over high heat. Once the skillet is very hot, just as it begins smoking, add the broccolini directly to the hot skillet. Use tongs to toss a few times during the cooking process until the broccolini is charred in parts and the stems are crisp tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to rest.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Drizzle the bread slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil on both sides and place in batches on the skillet. Cook until golden and toasted, flipping once, about 2 minutes per side per batch.
- Divide the toasted bread among 4 plates. Spread each with some of the walnut pesto. Top with the broccolini, burrata cheese, and pickled peppers. Drizzle each slice with 1 tablespoon more olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.