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The beauty of this versatile dish is in its simplicity. We serve it throughout the year, but it's best in the late spring and early summer, when the Green Gulch broccoli is in season. Grown with great care, the heads are slender, the florets closed and beautifully formed. Cut the florets from the stem at a slight angle and give them some length to show off their beauty. The robust vinaigrette is whisked to thicken slightly, then tossed with the salad just before serving.
• 1 head of broccoli, about 1 pound
• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
• 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 2 sun -dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
• Champagne vinegar
Cut the broccoli tops into florets about 1 1/2 inches long. Peel the broccoli stems, cut in half lengthwise, and slice 1/2 inch thick on a diagonal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, garlic, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper.
Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drop in the broccoli stems and cook for about 3 minutes, adding the florets for the last minute. The broccoli should be bright green and slightly crisp. Pour it into a colander, rinse under cold water, and drain thoroughly.
Toss the broccoli with the sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste and a splash of Champagne vinegar to heighten the flavor.
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