Roasted Broccoli and Citrus Salad with Labneh

Roasted Broccoli and Citrus Salad with Labneh - A Thought For Food

The magic of roasted vegetables never ceases to amaze me. A single ingredient, tossed with a bit of oil and sprinkled with salt, can be transformed into a robust, complex dish. I've only recently started cooking this way, though. I'd gone for many years only occasionally using the oven. I've always been drawn to preparing meals on a stovetop, finding the quick results of sautéing more satisfying than the longer process of roasting vegetables (as I type this, I realize it's evidence of how impatient I can be). However, when my schedule allows it, I prefer this slower method, letting flavors develop. 

This broccoli salad pairs the deep caramelized notes that form from roasting with bright citrus. Creamy labneh is both rich and tangy that turns this into a more substantial side. If you only have a thick Greek yogurt available, that'll also work.

Roasted Broccoli and Citrus Salad with Labneh - A Thought For Food


Servings: 4-6 as a side

1 large head broccoli, cut into 1  1/2-inch florets, stems peeled and sliced
Olive oil
1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
1 cara cara orange, peeled and segmented
1/2 cup labneh
1/4 cup pine nuts
Black pepper
1 lime

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil.

Place broccoli in a mixing bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over broccoli and toss to coat. Transfer broccoli to baking pan, making sure to spread it out, so the florets are flat on the pan and season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until edges have browned.

To toast the pine nuts, heat a small saute pan over medium-low heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring frequently, until golden-brown (keep a careful eye on them as they can easily burn), approximately 3 minutes.  

To plate, spread labneh on the bottom of a platter or wide serving bowl. Place broccoli and citrus on top. Sprinkle pine nuts over, and zest lime on top. Season with salt and black pepper.

Roasted Broccoli and Citrus Salad with Labneh - A Thought For Food

Mezcal Paloma

The majority of the time, I'm the one who prepares dinner.  It makes sense. I'm home before Eric, I can often get to the store... plus, I enjoy doing it. It's not that he can't cook or that he's not good at it (he's actually very good), it's just become a task that I've taken over. But why not find some time to cook together? The idea has been lingering in my mind ever since I read Ashley's Date Night In, a cookbook featuring recipes and stories from the evenings she and her husband spend preparing dishes. I found the whole thing truly inspiring and at one point even suggested it... but over a year went by gone and we never followed through. A few weeks ago, however, after a particularly hectic week, Eric suggested that we spend our Saturday night at home. The lightbulb flickered on. "Hey, we have all of these cookbooks around. Why don't we make something from one of them?" We pulled out a recent addition to our collection that features authentic Chinese recipes, made a list, went to the store, and cooked up a storm. The food was incredible. Probably the best we've ever made. And we did it together (all while sipping on palomas). This past weekend we did it again, this time going in a more Mediterranean direction: braised octopus, roasted eggplant, whipped goat cheese, and homemade pita (that evening we went with martinis).

The paloma, featured here, is an easy, refreshing drink. Typically it includes tequila, but I like the slightly smoky notes the mezcal provides. A simpler version of the recipe can be made by using grapefruit soda instead of the fresh grapefruit juice, sugar and soda water, but if you have grapefruits on hand, I prefer this method. 


Highball or rocks glass

1 drink

Kosher salt
1 lime wedge
1/4 ounce lime juice
2 ounces grapefruit juice
2 ounces mezcal (or tequila)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces soda water
1 grapefruit wedge, for garnish

1. To rim the glass, pour salt onto a plate. Rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge and then dip the rim into the salt, spin slowly until rim is lightly coated in salt.

2. Pour lime juice, grapefruit juice, mezcal and sugar into a glass. Using a spoon, stir until sugar has dissolved. Fill glass with ice cubes and top with soda water.