This Charred Broccolini Caesar Salad Is Main Course-Worthy

Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple makes his recipe for charred broccolini Caesar with kale and chickpeas on this week’s episode of Mad Genius: Home Edition.

Caesar salad is a classic for a reason, uniting crisp lettuce, creamy and tangy dressing, and salty cheese into one irresistible meal. However, as Justin Chapple points out in this week's episode of Mad Genius: Home Edition, it can easily get soggy if it sits out. The solution? Adding broccolini and kale for extra heft.

Enter his recipe for charred broccolini Caesar with kale and chickpeas, a twist on the Caesar salad that not only includes multiple kinds of produce—little gem lettuce, lacinato kale, and broccolini—but also a mayo-based (as opposed to egg-yolk based) dressing, which can handle sitting on the salad for a little while. The whole thing comes together in just under an hour, and you can make the dressing in advance if you'd like, too.

Read on for Justin's method and follow along with the video above.

Prep and Roast the Broccolini

First, you'll want to trim your broccolini and halve any of the larger stalks as necessary. Then, get it onto a large rimmed baking sheet and toss it with the extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper, spreading it into an even layer. Transfer the broccolini to a pre-heated 425°F oven and roast for 15 to 17 minutes on the middle rack, until the stems are just crisp-tender and the florets are lightly charred. You'll also want to roast the almonds on the lower rack (only eight to 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, Make the Dressing

For the all-important dressing, grab mayonnaise, drained anchovy fillets, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh grated garlic, and a little more salt and pepper. Make sure to finely chop the anchovies and then mash them into a paste before mixing them in—you can also buy anchovy paste, Justin notes. He explains that this dressing would traditionally include Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but he's omitting it in this case so it's dairy-free.

Build and Serve

Gather the lacinato kale, Little Gem lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, cooled broccolini and almonds, and drained and rinsed chickpeas, adding them all to a large serving bowl. Pour on a generous drizzle of the dressing and give the mixture a good toss until everything is evenly coated. With a final hit of salt and pepper, you're ready to eat.

"All those textures, all those flavors are coming together," Justin says. "That charred broccolini really gives it the wow factor. And the days of wilted lettuce are over."

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