Kicking off our Sandwich Week is No 7 Sub’s brilliant why-didn’t-I-think-of-that? broccoli sub recipe. Tucked into an obscure corner of New York City’s super-hip Ace Hotel, Tyler Kord and company come up with wild-sounding but ever-satisfying sandwiches, from zucchini parmesan with pickled jalapenos and crushed BBQ potato chips to thick-cut bologna with curry mayonnaise. But it’s the broccoli sub that fuels our obsession for the place—literally. Half of Gilt Taste’s caloric intake in any given week comes from this unstoppably, compulsively delicious sandwich of roasted broccoli, sweet-spicy pickles, salty ricotta and crisp fried shallots and pine nuts. Enjoy! – Ed.
Broccoli sub with lychee muchim pickles, ricotta salata, pine nuts
Adapted from No 7 Sub
Makes 4 huge subs, serves 4-8
For the lychee pickles:
1 20-ounce can lychees
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 smalle chunk ginger, peeled and minced (about same size as the garlic clove)
1 shallot, peeled and chopped real little
A few drops sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 dried Chinese chilis, chopped
1 cup white vinegar
2 scallions, chopped
For the broccoli:
2 heads broccoli
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
4 sub rolls, sliced lengthwise
4 ounces ricotta salata cheese, shredded
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup fried shallots*
½ cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s or Kewpie will work just fine)
Make the pickles: Open the can of lychees. Drain the syrup and use it for something awesome (I would make a lychee hurricane to go with this sandwich). Quarter the lychees and, in a mixing bowl, combine them with the rest of the ingredients. Let the mixture sit for a couple of hours.
Prep the broccoli: Preheat oven to 375⁰ F. Remove the stems from the broccoli, peel, cut into 1/8-inch coins, and put in a mixing bowl. Cut the florets into 1-inch-or-so-size pieces and add to the bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and mix thoroughly, adding more oil if necessary to give each piece a light sheen. Taste a piece of the raw broccoli and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Roast: Spread broccoli out on a baking sheet in one layer and roast for about 10-12 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender but with still a little bit of crunch in the center, and starting to get dark on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool, or make subs right away.
Toast rolls: In a 375⁰ F oven, toast the hero rolls and reheat the broccoli, if needed.
Mayo! Spread 2 tablespoons of mayo on each of the sub rolls, and then stuff the rolls with the roasted broccoli.
Top and go: Top each sandwich with a little bit of the lychee muchim. It’s spicy, so maybe go easy on the sandwiches and put some out on the side so that your guests can add more if they like it. Sprinkle on the ricotta salata, pine nuts, and fried shallots. Attack.
* Buy these, usually sold in jars, in an Asian grocery, or use canned fried onions. Or use Funyuns, in a pinch.
And why would you invent a broccoli sub? Tyler tells it himself:
"So, the broccoli sub really started in high school. I always loved to cook, especially late at night (unfortunately I have yet to kick that habit which is becomes more of a problem for my waistline when you're 34 than when you're 17). At my house, we always had crusty bread because my parents eat a lot of toast, and we always had broccoli. I was not super into vegetables, but broccoli always spoke to me on a level that most people and things couldn't compete with. So I made a lot of broccoli sandwiches, usually just toasted bread with butter and sautéed broccoli. And if there were leftover mashed potatoes then it was a party. Mashed potatoes are one of the world's great sandwich accoutrements. At any rate, when we opened No. 7 Sub, I knew that I wanted to do a broccoli sandwich. This version existed first as a salad for a City Harvest event, but it was so good that I decided it needed to be served on bread. And it's one of our most popular sandwiches!"
More Sandwich Week: