When in Nashville, visit trendy New American restaurant and hangout Pinewood Social, where this crunchy fried broccoli with almond sauce is a menu staple. Executive chef Andrew Rodriguez says, “When we opened Pinewood Social, we knew we would need a nice vegetarian appetizer. One of our chefs, Randall Prudden, created this dish, and it’s been on the menu ever since.” A creamy, tangy, vegan almond-based sauce complements the vegetable’s savory crunch, making for a thoroughly addictive bite.
Chef Rodriguez recommends you try to get as much of the excess oil off of the broccoli after frying by draining thoroughly on paper towels. “Sometimes when people make broccoli, they murder it. This is a way for it to remain crisp but cooked through,” he adds.
- 2 heads broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 quarts canola oil
- Zest of 2 lemons
- sea salt to taste
Almond Garlic Sauce
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- juice of 1/2 lemon
For the dressing
Add all ingredients to a Vitamix or food processor and puree until smooth.
For the broccoli
Heat the oil in a frying pan to 375 degrees.
Add broccoli and fry in batches for approximately 30 seconds each, or until the edges appear brown and crispy.
Once cooked, remove and set on a paper towel until well drained.
Top with fresh lemon zest and sea salt and serve with the almond sauce.