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Triple Sesame Lemon Grilled Broccoli

Triple Sesame Lemon Grilled Broccoli

et’s grill! We all are well aware of the power of the grill in imparting awesome flavor to food and in signaling the start of summer. There are tons of foods that taste great on the grill other than the usual burgers and corn. Broccoli is definitely one of those foods. It may seem a bit odd to toss some broccoli on the grill, but the carmelization and char that develop beautifully compliment this cruciferous veggie.

Accompanying this here grilled broccoli is a super bright, tangy sesame lemon sauce that is an excellent contrast to the flavor of charred, funky broccoli. Three forms of sesame join forces to create awesome sesame flavor; toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil, and tahini. If you are not familiar with tahini, it is just ground sesame seeds. Think: the “other” main ingredient in hummus; tahini is to sesame seeds what peanut butter is to peanuts.  Tahini has a rich, intriguing flavor, and definitely tastes different than plain, whole sesame. Sesame seeds have protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin E, and are a great source of mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These unsaturated fats are helpful in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and decreasing risk of heart disease.

hen I went to the store in search of lemons for this dish, I noticed there were a couple lemons that some may consider the lemons of the lemons; a bit disfigured with strange formations of the rind. I find weird looking fruits and veggies charming and intriguing, and will usually choose them over their perfect, cookie-cutter counterparts. 

A recent Nat Geo article brought to my attention how those curious, imperfect specimens could help us work towards solving the world’s hunger issues. While there are many factors at play from food production to consumption, a large one is the exacting standards of supermarkets that demand specific aesthetics of produce from farmers. Tons and tons, literally, of produce does not meet the near perfect standards and does not even go to market. All this food that is just as nutritious, but maybe not as pretty looking, can and should be saved to help feed those in need. What you can do: learn more from the article, and choose those strange looking fruits and veggies to cutback on unnecessary food waste.

nyway, I hope you try this delicious and different dish the next time you are celebrating summer with your grill! 

riple Sesame Lemon Grilled Broccoli
Makes about 4 servings
 
1 large or 2 medium heads of broccoli
olive oil
salt and pepper
toasted sesame seeds
fresh herbs and lemon zest, optional
 
Sesame Lemon Sauce
2 tbs. tahini
2 tbs. olive oil
juice and zest from 1 lemon (~ 3 tbs. juice, 1 tsp. zest)
1 tbs. water
/2 tsp. sesame oil
salt and pepper
 
Mix all the sauce ingredients well until homogenized, add salt and pepper to taste.
 
Cut the broccoli into large chunks each with a few florets, making sure they are still attached by the stem. Toss in enough olive oil to lightly coat, season with salt and pepper to taste.
 
On a hot grill, grill the broccoli for a few minutes on each side. You want some nice char/grill marks and the broccoli to have a bright green color. It should be cooked enough to be tender, but not soft or mushy.
 
Serve the grilled broccoli with the sesame lemon sauce and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top, with fresh herbs and lemon zest if you like as well.

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