Charred Broccoli with Blue Cheese Dressing
1/3 c half and half
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3 ozs blue cheese, crumbled (see Note)
1/3 c sour cream
2 pounds broccoli, cut into 1 1/2-inch florets with stems
1/4 c unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 TBSP harissa
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp Sriracha
1/2 c olive oil
1/3 c minced shallots
2 TBSP butter
1 c crisped rice cereal
In a small saucepan, warm the half and half until hot. Whisk in the crushed red pepper, sugar and one-third of the blue cheese until melted. Let cool completely, then whisk in the sour cream and the remaining cheese. Season the dressing with salt.
PREPARE THE BROCCOLI
In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the broccoli until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well and spread on a large baking sheet to cool.
In a blender, combine the vinegar, harissa, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, mustard and Sriracha and puree. With the blender on, gradually add the olive oil until incorporated. Transfer the vinaigrette to a medium bowl and stir in the shallots. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the cereal and 1 1/2 tsp of the harissa vinaigrette and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with half of the remaining vinaigrette and season with salt. Grill the broccoli over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Spread the blue cheese dressing on a platter and scatter the broccoli on top. Garnish with the spiced crispies and serve, passing the remaining harissa vinaigrette at the table.