Grilled Broccoli, Red Onion and Tomato Salad

This salad comes from Food & Wine magazine; you need a flat grill pan with holes in it in order to grill the onions and broccoli. If you don’t have that, you can always roast the broccoli in the oven at a high temperature until it’s nice and charred along with the onion. This salad is best eaten the same day as the tomatoes do not age well in the refrigerator. You can, however, grill the broccoli and onion the day before to get a head start.

2 large heads of broccoli (about 2 lbs), cut into pieces
1 large red onion, cut crosswise into thick slices
1 lb tomatoes, cut into 1″ chunks (I used the brown tomatoes from the store since there are no garden tomatoes yet and these seem to have the most flavor)
2 T extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling over the broccoli and red onion
2 1/2 T red wine vinegar
kosher salt and pepper
grated or shaved ricotta salata (or any other grated or shaved cheese you like)

Heat your grill; drizzle the onions and broccoli with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill, using a flat grill pan with holes in it over high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the broccoli is getting too dark on the outside but is still too crisp on the inside, you can turn off the burner that the pan is on and let it cook from indirect heat for a few minutes. I think this depends on the size and freshness of your broccoli. Let cool and then cut the onion into smaller pieces if desired; transfer broccoli and onion to a serving bowl. Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes with 2 T EVOO and the red wine vinegar along with a generous pinch of salt. Let this marinade for about 20 minutes and then pour the whole mixture over the broccoli. Stir well and sprinkle with the grated or shaved cheese. Eat at room temperature.

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