Side dish/ Vegetables

Charred Broccoli with Blue Cheese Dressing and Spicy Rice

What do you do after a hard day’s work?

I’ve always loved cooking, taking cooking classes, watching cooking competitions, talking food, recreating a dish that I have enjoyed from a restaurant and teaching someone how to make something special. So, even today, in my old age (ha) after helping out in the kitchen at our son and D-I-L’s brewery for 6-8 hours I’ll come home and watch a good “food movie” or some of my new favorite food shows on Magnolia network or even sit down and search the internet for some new recipes. 

One of my favorite things to do is to look at menus from restaurants where friends or family have dined. You can’t imagine how many ideas I have gotten from reading menus and unless it is an over the top restaurant with like super complicated foods and techniques, it’s pretty easy to come up with a recipe.

This particular recipe is from Stephanie Izard (The Girl and the Goat Restaurant in Chicago). She won Top Chef competition in their fourth season and now has four restaurants. (Her green bean recipe is still one of my all time favorite green bean recipes.) My son, Scott, is always sending me new things to try. I would have to say that he is a lot more adventurous than I am. I have not tried his tahini brownies and probably won’t but I will try almost anything else he recommends. When he showed me this recipe I think he had already made it twice so I knew it must be good.  

I plated this broccoli recipe on a large platter. The next time I make this broccoli recipe I will do one of two things, make extra sauce and put on table so if someone wants more they can have it OR I have these tiny little pitchers I picked up at an Asian market years ago and I could give each guest their own sauce to drizzle over the dish. I think I pretty much made the recipe the way she wrote it; I didn’t take any liberties this time to change anything and I loved it and can’t wait to make it again.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Mimi’s Sticky Chicken is one of the first recipes I posted back in 2009 and believe it not, if you Google it there are over 6 million results. People love this simple recipe and I think you will too.

Ingredients for the broccoli sauce.

Make the spicy crispy rice and set aside.

Steam the broccoli according to the directions.

Grill the broccoli until slightly charred.

Make the blue cheese sauce and set aside.

Make a puddle of blue cheese sauce on a plate or large platter.

Top the cheese sauce with the charred broccoli.

Add all the broccoli and then I drizzled with a little of the Harissa.


The spicy crispy rice is my favorite part.

Charred Broccoli with Blue Cheese Dressing and Spicy Rice


  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Pinch of dark brown sugar
  • 3 ounces smoked or Maytag blue cheese crumbled (see Note)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • Salt
  • For Broccoli:
  • 2 pounds broccoli cut into 1 1/2-inch florets with stems
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup crisped rice cereal such as Rice Krispies


  1. In a small saucepan, warm the heavy cream until hot. Whisk in the crushed red pepper, sugar and one-third of the blue cheese until melted. Let cool completely, then whisk in the sour cream and the remaining cheese. Season the dressing with salt.
  2. Prepare the broccoli: In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the broccoli until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well and spread on a large baking sheet to cool.

  3. In a blender, combine the vinegar, harissa, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, mustard and Sriracha and puree. With the blender on, gradually add the olive oil until incorporated. Transfer the vinaigrette to a medium bowl and stir in the shallots. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the cereal and 11/2 teaspoons of the harissa vinaigrette and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
  5. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with half of the remaining vinaigrette and season with salt. Grill the broccoli over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  6. Spread the blue cheese dressing on a platter and scatter the broccoli on top. Garnish with the spiced crispies and serve, passing the remaining harissa vinaigrette at the table.

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