Warm Broccolini and Compressed Apple Salad


  • 3 large Honeycrisp apples, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons benne seeds, smoked
  • 4 bunches Broccolini
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Salt, as needed
  • White balsamic vinaigrette, recipe follows
  • 1 cup feta
  • 5 to 6 radishes, thinly shaved
  • 2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped


Place apples and apple cider vinegar in a Cryovac bag, seal and let set for 1 hour.

Cold-smoke benne seeds by lining a 600 pan with hickory chips and topping with a 4-inch perforated pan lined with cheesecloth. Pour in benne seeds, cover and cook on stovetop. Once smoke starts to billow, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove seeds.

Blanch broccolini for 2 minutes, then shock. Toss in olive oil, season with salt and grill until lightly charred.

Toss in vinaigrette, top with feta, apples, radish and walnuts. Sprinkle benne seeds on top to garnish. Makes 4 servings.

For white balsamic vinaigrette: Whisk 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon honey with 1-1⁄2 cups white balsamic vinegar. While whisking, drizzle in 1-1⁄2 cups olive oil. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and hot sauce.

Chef Bobby Hodge, Oak Steakhouse, Nashville, TN, from Food Fanatics Magazine