Charred Broccoli and Avocado Salad Recipe

Charred Broccoli and Avocado Salad

Charred broccoli is fast becoming one of my go-to vegetable options, especially at lunchtime when I need something quick and low-effort.

My enthusiasm for it started as an offshoot from my beloved Roasted Cauliflower à la Mary Celeste, in which broccoli can be used with good results. But in truth, roasted broccoli isn’t an exact substitute for cauliflower: the tops of the florets become a bit drier and quite a bit crunchier when submitted to high heat, so roasted broccoli seems to call for a creamier treatment.

The trick to this salad is to not be shy about roasting the broccoli.

And what creamier companions than an herbed tahini dressing and a cubed avocado tossed in? Also: what tastier, more satisfying trio?

I usually eat half of this salad warm the day I make it, and try to contain my excitement until lunch the next day, when I can finally have the other half; it’s best to take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before eating.

The trick to this salad is to not be shy about roasting the broccoli: you’ll get the most vibrant flavor and most interesting texture contrast from broccoli that is frankly black at the tips.

Mini Cookbook of Vegan Staples

The only damper on my charred broccoli enthusiasm these days is that is it harder than one would think to find glowingly fresh broccoli at the organic stores around me. You can tell broccoli is fresh when the heads are firm, with tight florets that take some effort to separate. Yet more often than not, a quick pat on the heads stocked in the produce bin reveals soft heads with distracted florets. I did learn recently that you can revive those heads by cutting a slice off the tip of the stem and putting it in a glass of water as in a vase, and I plan to try this next time, should my craving become too strong.

Join the conversation!

Do you share my love of roasted broccoli? What’s you favorite way to serve it?

Charred Broccoli Salad on Video!

My friend Katie Quinn filmed me making this salad, and you can watch the video on her YouTube channel!

Charred Broccoli and Avocado Salad

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Charred Broccoli and Avocado Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves 2. (Recipe can be doubled.)

Charred Broccoli and Avocado Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 large head broccoli, about 750 grams (1 2/3 pounds)
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 2 good handfuls chopped fresh herbs: cilantro, chervil, chives, and flat-leaf parsley all good choices
  • 1 rounded tablespoon tahini (sesame paste, available from natural food stores and Middle-Eastern markets)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400° F).
  2. Cut the broccoli into even-sized florets. Peel off any tough part on the stem, cut it lengthwise into four long logs, and slice not too thinly.
  3. Put the broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle generously with olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and toss well to coat (it works best if you just use your hands). Insert into the oven and roast for 30 minutes, until charred at the edges.
  4. Charred broccoli
  5. While the broccoli is roasting, prepare the dressing. Put the herbs, tahini, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
  6. Sauce ingredients
  7. Stir with a fork to combine, and add a little fresh water, teaspoon by teaspoon, stirring all the while until you get a creamy but not too thick dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  8. Mixed sauce
  9. When the broccoli is cooked, transfer to the bowl, add the avocado, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning again.
  10. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve. This is great when freshly made, but it can also sit at room temperature for a little while, or get packed for lunch and refrigerated.
http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/vegetables-grains/charred-broccoli-and-avocado-salad-recipe/

An irresistible salad of charred broccoli and avocado with a creamy tahini and herb dressing. Such a satisfying lunch bowl!

  • Liz @ FloatingKitchen

    Love this! I don’t really think of avocado and broccoli as two things I eat together. But it sounds great! And I love tahini. So can’t wait to try this out!

    • It’s funny because I’ve always thought broccoli and avocado were meant to be together. :)

      • di gramp

        Did you know Broccoli are flower heads? from Vol.2 of The Culinary Library, ‘Edible Flowers & Leaves’

  • Annabel Smyth

    Sounds interesting…. have yet to be converted to the idea of roast cauliflower or broccoli, but am willing to try!

    • Do you mean you’ve yet to try, or that you’ve tried and not liked it? If it’s the former, drop whatever it is you’re doing and try this very instant! You won’t look at cauliflower or broccoli the same way every again. :)

      • Annabel Smyth

        I did put some cauliflower in last time I roasted some vegetables, but wasn’t desperately impressed with the result – it was okay, but only okay! But I do plan to try it again, especially as I am getting a new stove tomorrow (my first new cooker in over 35 years, can you imagine that I’m just a tiny bit excited!).

        • Congrats on the new stove! A life-changing acquisition I’m sure. :)

          • Annabel Smyth

            Definitely, although I find the burners are slightly too hot compared with my old one (I do a lot of cooking on a very low heat). But the oven makes proper sponge cakes, which is marvellous – my old one simply wouldn’t, although it made lovely fruit cake. I plan to try meringues, although I believe gas ovens don’t make great meringues, but worth trying.

          • Ah yes, such a big change is bound to require some adjustments! Hurray for sponge cakes, though. :)

  • Amy Wallerstein

    That’s funny! Tonight I made roasted broccoli and explained to my 10 year old daughter how much better it tastes when the florets turn black on the tips. It’s weird to say, but it’s like candy-you can’t stop eating it! I’ll have to try your recipe. It sounds delicious!

    • I agree — roasted broccoli is like vegetable candy! I confess I can easily eat a whole head in one sitting. :)

  • I love this! Roasting vegetables is my go-to technique in winter, when, as you said, we are surrounded by sad, droopy vegetables. Roasting perks up these lackluster veggies, and concentrates their flavour. I’ve never paired up broccoli with avocado – excited to try!

  • anushruti

    I love roasting Broccoli as well! The taste is enhanced when it is charred.

  • I LOVE LOVE roasted broccoli. And this looks like a great way to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Stephanie

    roasted broccoli = the best kind of broccoli!!! And avocados make everything better. Making this one soon!

    xStephanie

    SundayswithStephanie.blogspot.com

  • Vicky Austin

    For some reason, roasted pistachios go nicely with charred broccoli. I like those two + some cooked chicken breast and a sesame dressing. The tahini dressing should do nicely.

  • rachelsloan79

    My first time roasting broccoli (why hadn’t I done it before??) and this salad is absolutely gorgeous – now I know what you mean about looking forward to lunch tomorrow! I love the broccoli/avocado combination – I’ve had it many times before in salads that involved steamed broccoli (which is lovely, fresher and more summery) and I can definitely see this becoming a staple of my lunch repertoire.

    • I can’t believe this was your first roasted broccoli, Rachel, this sounds like it would be just your thing! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  • Jenn Murphy

    I made this tonight for dinner. I was excited looking at the recipe, it turned out better than I had imagined.

  • Shawna Griffiths

    I made this tonight for lunch tomorrow. I improvised with ingredients I had on hand. I used almond butter instead of tahini and fresh basil and green onion as the herbs. It smelled so amazing I had to try it and it is won-der-ful.

    • I’m so glad, Shawna. Tomorrow’s lunch can’t come soon enough, right?

  • Amy

    Hi Clotilde,
    I saw your recipe on Sunday and I thought “I have all those ingredients!”
    So I made it and it was delicious! I’ve always been a fan of roasting broccoli but never thought to pair avocado with it – but you’re right, they are perfect together. And the dressing was so quick and easy. This will definitely become a staple salad in my home, thank you!

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  • Soymilk + Honey

    This looks so good! I love the idea of charring broccoli. Yum yum!

  • Helena Tomé

    Hello Clotilde
    I still like broccoli a little cooked in boiling water with a pinch of salt. I’m lucky to buy them very fresh, the way you describe them. Still hot, I just season them just with some drops of olive oil.

    For me, they are enough vegetables for one meal. They are tasty hot and cold.

    I used to use them in soup, but now I recognize I don’t like them that way.

    This summer I’ve used cubes of watermelon in every salad and I’ve enjoyed it.

    • Broccoli and watermelon together in a salad? My mind is officially blown. :)

  • Janet Ellsworth

    This really is a great recipe ! I actually made it twice unsuccessfully and then finally “nailed it” today ! The first time I realized I had no herbs at all and just went ahead and made it – big mistake ! Then the second time I was in a rush working from home and did not chop the parsley well enough – it was good, but not perfect. Today I finally followed your directions that you so painstakingly wrote and love the results ! Thanks again for all your amazing recipes and your blog. I love the way you write and it inspires me to be a better cook ! Bravo !

    • Thanks for reporting back, Janet, I’m glad you got it to your taste eventually! I agree that it’s one of those recipes that do need the different elements to come to life.

  • liza Layman

    Hi Clotilde,
    I made this recipe last night and my husband and I loved it! I did not have any Tahini paste, so I used Tahini oil and I used 2 Tbs+ 2 Tbs lemon juice and it was excellent! It really made us both so happy and it was so yummy. I will try it next time with the Tahini paste !! Thank you:)

  • Nathalie d’Abbadie

    Just made this, but without the avocado as the ones in my fruit basket aren’t ripe yet. I doubled the tahini and lemon juice to use up what I had on hand and I also used spring onions instead of the herbs you suggested as I didn’t have them either. It is mindblowingly delicious! Thanks for yet another wonderful recipe Clotilde! I will definitely follow it properly next time ;)

    • The spring onions are a great touch, Nathalie. Prepare to have your mind blown again next time if your avocado is ripe. It takes the salad to a whole new level! :)

  • Katie Lilley

    Thank you Clotilde! I made this for lunch today and my husband and I were blown away by how delicious it was. Great combination of flavours and textures, and I had it done in thirty minutes flat. It is one of those dishes that he will be requesting again in the future.

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