Lunchbreak: Southern Broccoli Salad

Data pix.

Erick Williams - Chef/Owner, Virtue Restaurant


1462 E. 53rd St.



"A Night with Virtue at Frontier"

Featuring Chefs Erick Williams (Virtue) and Brian Jupiter (Frontier)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

7:00 p.m.


1072 N. Milwaukee Avenue | Chicago, IL

For tickets:


“James Beard Foundation Taste America”

Friday, October 25, 2019

6:00 p.m. Reception, 7:00 p.m. Dinner with Dessert Reception to Follow

Zhou B Art Center | 1029 W. 35th St. Chicago, IL 60609


Time Out Market Chicago Partnership for Youth 

Date + Time: TBD, to be announced soon along with Time Out Market Chicago’s opening date!

Time Out Market Chicago | 916 W. Fulton Market | Chicago, IL 60607


Southern Broccoli Salad

Serves: 6-8

Prep time: 10 mins

Total time: 30 mins

At Virtue, we caramelize vegetables to intensify their natural character. It’s not only an enjoyable way to eat, it takes us back to or ancestral way of preparing meals over live fire and high heat. This salad is inspired by the broccoli salads that were a part of many family gatherings throughout my life; however,  I choose to use olive oil instead of the traditional use of mayonnaise. The pickles add a balanced brightness and sweet undertone to the dish, lastly the nuts add texture and depth while the cheddar adds richness.



  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • 1 cup diced white cheddar
  • ½ cup of pickled sweet peppers
  • Pinch of Cajun seasoning


  • 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place the broccoli in a bowl and toss it with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast. Resist the impulse to turn it – we want color on the broccoli.
  4. Cook for 18-20 minutes until the edges are crisp.
  5. Meanwhile, pour the olive oil in a bowl and whisk in the lemon juice.
  6. Dice white cheddar into pieces that are close to ¼ inch. *Note the cheese can also be grated if that is your preference.
  7. Pull the broccoli from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  8. Once the broccoli has cooled, place the broccoli in a bowl and toss with lemon vinaigrette
  9. Select the plate of your choice, place the broccoli on the plate, add the pickled peppers on top, pecans, and white cheddar.

*This salad eats very well on its own and can also be used as a base for proteins – for example, roasted  chicken or grilled salmon.

 *NOTE: For the purposes of the segment, Erick will work witih broccoli that has already been lightly roasted but will finish off by toasting it on the stovetop. 



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