This is an excerpt from Eater’s debut cookbook, focusing on an unexpected, vegetable-heavy side dish to add to your repertoire, care of Here’s Looking at You in Los Angeles.
Here’s Looking at You is one of those genre-bending, category-defying restaurants that Los Angeles does so well. Opened by chef Jonathan Whitener and front-of-house dynamo Lien Ta on a previously nondescript corner on the fringes of K-town, HLAY attracts an equally eclectic mix of guests — the dining room is typically host to date nights, friendly catch-ups, celebratory dinners, and a bar crowd wise to how great the tiki-adjacent cocktails are.
The menu is chock-full of small plates that take big swings, like this broccolini salad. Whitener tops charred broccolini with every texture you can think of — crunchy fried almonds and peanuts, tender hearts of palm, crispy toasted sesame seeds — and dresses it all in a zingy ginger dressing that will thankfully leave you with enough left over to use for enlivening your salads and veggies all week long.
Here’s Looking at You’s Broccolini Salad with Hearts of Palm and Ginger Vinaigrette Recipe
For the ginger vinaigrette:
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (254 ml) distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1¼ cups (230 grams) palm sugar
1 makrut lime leaf
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Thai chile, minced
1¾ cups minced fresh ginger
1 cup minced shallots
¾ cup grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
For the broccolini salad:
4 bunches broccolini or spigarello
1 cup almonds, lightly fried and chopped
1 cup peanuts, lightly fried and chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
1 cup sorghum, popped
⅓ cup black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
⅓ cup white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 cup chopped hearts of palm (preferably fresh, but canned works, too)
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
Step 1: To make the ginger vinaigrette, in a medium saucepan, combine ½ cup water, the vinegar, brown sugar, and palm sugar and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugars. Turn off the heat and add the lime leaf, garlic, chile, ginger, shallots, grapeseed oil, and white pepper. Let the vinaigrette stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, then cover and refrigerate (see Notes).
Step 2: To make the broccolini, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Blanch the broccolini bunches for about 2 minutes, then transfer them into the ice bath. Drain and dry off the broccolini with paper towels.
Step 3: Preheat a grill (see Note) to medium and carefully char the broccolini, 2 to 3 minutes, making sure to not burn it. Remove the broccolini from the grill and roughly chop it.
Step 4: Divide the broccolini into 4 bowls, placing it in the center. Spoon an equal amount of the nuts, seeds, popped sorghum, hearts of palm, and chile by adding each ingredient side by side in a circular formation over the broccolini. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the ginger vinaigrette in the center of each bowl. Serve and encourage everyone to mix their salads.
- Leftover ginger vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- If you don’t have a grill, you can char the broccolini in a cast-iron pan or a grill pan over medium-high heat.
Recipe tested by Louiie Victa
Adapted from EATER: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes by Hillary Dixler Canavan. Text and illustrations copyright © Vox Media, LLC. Text by Hillary Dixler Canavan and illustrations by Alice Oehr. Photography copyright © 2023 by Laura Murray. Published by Abrams.