Lunchbreak: Broccoli and feta salad, prepared by Ballaro Restaurant chef Mark Newman

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Chef Mark Newman

Ballaro Restaurant
214 Green Bay Road
(847) 780–3396

Broccoli and Feta Salad

1 cup broccoli florets and peeled and dice stem
2 Tablespoon Feta cheese (French feta at the restaurant)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons roasted pistachios
2 Tablespoons re-hydrated golden raisins
1 cup arugula
1/2 cup chopped roasted or grilled Shishito peppers (sub roasted bell peppers of choice)
1-2 oz pistachio vinaigrette
1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preparation to make salad can be done up to 2 days before.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a sheet tray or cookie sheet lay out your pistachios.  On a separate sheet tray, lay out the shishito peppers and season with extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper. While waiting for the oven to preheat, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  When oven is ready, roast the peppers and the pistachios.  Set a timer for 4 minutes, and take the pistachios out after 4 minutes is up.  Roast the peppers an additional 10-15 more minutes, until outside is starting to brown and blister.  Let cool and chop into bite size pieces.  When pistachios are room temperature, reserve 2 Tablespoons for finishing the salad, the other cup will be used in the vinaigrette recipe. Cut your head of broccoli into bite size florets.  Peel and chop the stem into similar size pieces.  When the water is boiling, get a bowl of ice water ready. Put the dry golden raisins in a separate heat resistant bowl.  With a spoon or ladle pour some of the hot boiling water over the raisins and let cool to room temperature.  This will plump the raisins and re-hydrate them.  Add the cut broccoli and stem to the boiling water.  Stir to make sure the broccoli is submerged and cook 1-2 minutes only.  The broccoli should be a beautiful bright green.  Strain in a sink with a colander or bowl strainer and put broccoli right in the ice water bowl you prepared.  Let cool 3-4 minutes and strain again. Store in refrigerator until you are ready to make salad.  To make salad, in a large bowl toss the blanched broccoli, roasted pistachio, re-hydrated raisins, arugula, and roasted and chopped peppers with some salt and pepper.  Add the dressing and mix.  Plate the mixed salad however you like.  Crumble the Feta cheese over the top.

Pistachio Vinaigrette

1/2 cup roasted pistachios
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
10 oz canola oil
8 oz white balsamic vinegar
5 oz water

In a blender add all of the ingredients together mix until smooth.