Weekly Winner:  Mean, Green, …Game Food??

My husband puts up with a lot from me.  He willingly goes along with my quest to seek out the newest restaurants.  He is enthusiastic about my experimenting with new ingredients and is a ready taste-tester.  For the most part he is even on board with my attempts at eating healthy and “going green”.  As long as I don’t mess with the classics or decide to forego bacon entirely he’s a very patient man.  Imagine his skepticism then, when I announced that I had found our dinner for Super Bowl Sunday and it would be totally, and utterly, vegetarian!  Yep, that’s right.  For the Big Game — the most sacred bastion of junk food there is — I was making Roast Broccoli Heroes.

I mentioned he was skeptical.  However, once he learned that said Roast Broccoli Hero would include French-fried onions and that the recipe came from Alton Brown’s newest cookbook EveryDayCook, he gave in.  And you know what? They. Were. Awesome!  These weren’t just good vegetable sandwiches.  These were decadent-tasting, messy, indulgent, yumminess-in-a-roll.  Seriously, they were probably one of the top 5 sandwiches I’ve had in the past year.  Certainly in the top 3 that I’ve made (possibly ever).  The roasted broccoli tastes meaty and the combination of the mayonnaise, pickles and chili sauce amps up the umami factor big-time.  Oh yeah, and then you add cheese and those French-fried onions.  Trust me, you will not miss the meat in this sandwich. It was enthusiastically approved by said skeptical husband.  We’ll be making these again for sure — and soon!

Roast Broccoli Hero

Serves 4


1 cup sliced bread and butter pickles

1/2 cup pickle brine (from the bread and butter pickles)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp chili sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 large head of broccoli (about 1 pound), chopped into florets, stalk thinly sliced into rounds

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Kosher salt

4 6- to 8-inch French bread rolls

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup prepared fried onions

4 oz. ricotta salata, grated


  1. Het oven to 400F
  2. Combine the pickles, pickle brine, garlic, ginger, chili sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl.  Allow the pickles to marinate while you deal with the broccoli
  3. Toss the broccoli with the olive oil and salt in a large bowl, spread into an even layer on a half sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes.  Toss and roast for another 15 minutes.  When you remove the broccoli from the oven, move a rack under your broiler and heat the broiler to high.
  4. Split and lightly toast the rolls under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. For each sandwich: Lightly spread mayonnaise on each side of the rolls then evenly distribute the pickles.  Next, layer on the broccoli, then the fried onions and top with the ricotta salata.

Weekly Winner:  Sometimes the best plan is no plan at all … And bacon cheese!

As my lack of entries indicate, it has been a crazy couple of weeks around here…. Work, house guests, burst pipes, new carpeting, travel….so my recipe experimentation has been relatively nonexistent. Hopefully I’ll be able to remedy that in the coming weeks but for now this is definitely the best thing I’ve made in a while.

Heading to the Green City Market this morning I had no idea what I was looking for.  I found myself in the unusual situation of only having to buy for myself and hubby and today’s lunch was all I had in mind.  But what to make?  I’m sure I have a ton of new salad recipes I’ve been meaning to try, and there’s always my famous (to us anyway) farmer’s market pizza but to be honest, I wasn’t going to have the time.  I needed to find something that could be put together quickly but obviously, it had to be tasty.

If I can just say…I outdid myself!  I thought at first I would just cobble together a salad from all the various fabulous veggies I knew would be waiting for me. But then again, there’s Bennison’s bakery which always has incredible bread.  And cheese…there’s always amazing cheese to be found there as well.  Voila!  A Veggie Sandwich!  This was great, or as hubby said “This is stupidly good”.  I’ll take that any day of the week!  Sometimes you just got to wing it.

So while there’s really no recipe for this, everything on this sandwich came from the market this morning with the exception of a gala apple that I had on hand and some Gulden’s Mustard.  So here it goes:

Donna’s Green City Market Sandwich

Serves 2

Take 2 mini ciabatta loaves and slice in half lengthwise.  Generously spread bottom halves with Bacon Cheddar Cold Pack Cheese from Brunkhow Cheese .  On top of that place gala apple thinly sliced, half a cucumber thinly sliced, one sliced heirloom tomato, red leaf lettuce and thinly sliced red onion.  Salt and pepper each sandwich.  Spread a thin layer of Gulden’s mustard on top half of bread, place on top of the glorious veggies and squish down firmly.  Cut each sandwich in half and enjoy!