Broccoli and Tomato Salad

A simple salad with few ingredients. I came up with this idea as an accompaniment to our Thanksgiving dinner. The main entree was a vegetable lasagna that was heavy on the cheese. The other side dish was oily, buttery, garlic knots. I wanted something to break up the monotony of all the decadence and richness. Something vegetal and acidic seemed like it would be the perfect foil.

I also went very light on the spice to keep this friendly to all types of palates.

The deeply sauted garlic has a lot of flavor, but isn't sharp at all.

One 12 ounce bag frozen broccoli florets
One large package cherry or grape tomatoes ( about 12 ounces)
11 cloves garlic
2 tbls red wine vinegar
1 tbl olive oil
2 tsps hot sauce
2 generous handfuls fresh basil, chopped small
1/2 tsp crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Quarter the tomatoes if using grape. Halve if using cherry. Set aside.

Cook the broccoli in a large frying pan. No oil. No water. A pinch of salt. Cook until broccoli is warmed through and bright green. A little bit of char is nice. Remove to an ice bath. Then drain of excess water. Chop small.

Saute whole garlic cloves in a hot pan with a small drizzle of olive oil. Cook until nicely browned on both sides. Mince cooked garlic cloves very small.

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and gently stir to combine.

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