Sweet sesame broccoli with edamame beans and quinoa

The last few weeks in Brooklyn have been busy ones. Right before Thanksgiving, I launched my temporary salad popup in my local neighbourhood of Carroll Gardens. It’s a project I have unofficially monikered Salad’s on Sundays, and it has allowed me to rediscover the joy of feeding my community. All the best bits are here: meeting new people, connecting over food, sharing salad and conversation and establishing new friendships. Then there are the joys of feeding transplanted Aussies. Serving people like my friends Mel and Jason, original salad eaters from Surry Hills and now fellow Carroll Gardeners, along with many of the familiar faces from my weekly salad cycling route in Sydney has been a true joy (New York truly is Little Australia right now!). Most importantly, it has been very special to bring this sense of sharing to another neighbourhood.

During my popup days, I’ve so enjoyed creating dishes from my cookbook Community for the people of NYC. It feels like home to cook these neighbourhood favourites for a new audience. In a nod to the good old days of cycling salads, and as a wink to all the new avid salad eaters of New York City, I’m sharing a recipe from Community. This super simple broccoli salad is the perfect dish for your holiday table. For Community devotees, you’ll notice a slight variation in this recipe, where I’ve roasted the broccoli instead of blanching. The result is, of course, very similar, but just produces slighty deeper flavours.


Sweet sesame broccoli and edamame with quinoa

Gluten free, vegan

Serves 4-6

  • 2 medium (about 500g) broccoli, trimmed into florets
  • 400g frozen edamame beans
  • 300g quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • ½ cup cilantro / coriander leaves
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Sweet sesame sauce

  • 3 tbsp tahini paste
  • Approximately 50ml water
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp honey (or less if you don’t want it as sweet)
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Sea salt

Preheat oven to 190˚C / 375˚F.

To make the sweet sesame sauce, whisk together all the ingredients until well combined. You may need to vary the amount of honey, water and vinegar to get the right consistency and flavour. You are looking for a sweet, yet nutty sauce that is easy to pour.

Place the broccoli florets on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt. Roast the broccoli in the hot oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the florets are golden.

Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt and tiny bit of sugar and oil. Add the edamame beans to the same water and blanch until just tender, around 2-3 minutes, then drain and refresh.

In a large pot of water, add a big pinch of salt and the quinoa, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and translucent. If there is some water left, drain in fine sieve or colander.

Combine the broccoli and edamame beans with the sesame oil, quinoa, half the seeds and sweet tahini sauce. Mix through. Top with the remaining seeds and coriander leaves.

SALADHetty McKinnon