Recipe: Garlicky Broccoli Subs

Recipe: Garlicky Broccoli Subs

Meghan Splawn
Mar 23, 2017
(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

In my never-ending quest to get my children to eat more green vegetables, I discovered the best broccoli sub sandwich that not only works as a quick and easy vegetarian dinner option, but also works as a tasty sub to serve at parties.

Garlicky roasted broccoli is already a dinner staple that my kids love. Partnering it with tangy feta cheese, a special sauce (read: doctored-up mayo), and crunchy fried onions, this staple becomes more than just broccoli on a sub roll. Each bite is a delightful combination of savory and sweet flavors, creaminess from the feta, and the fiery tang of pickled Peppadew peppers. My favorite part though? Building just one sandwich instead of four or five, to feed the whole family.

This sandwich is inspired, in part, by my daughter's love of broccoli. I realize this goes against every picky-eater cliché, but of the few vegetables she likes to eat, broccoli is her favorite. One of my strategies for introducing new flavors to my kids is to partner them with things they love. For example, the familiar broccoli here is paired with Peppadews (a sweet and mildly spicy pickled pepper) and feta cheese. This makes the broccoli exciting but the feta and peppers more familiar.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

A Family-Style Sandwich for the Whole Family

I love making this sandwich on one soft French loaf and just cutting the sandwich into pieces for either serving this family-style for parties or a quick weeknight dinner. You can certainly use the same sauce and filling on soft sub rolls, too. Alternatively you can make one side with all the toppings for the grown-ups and leave any non-starters off the kids' side, so you won't have to make two different dinners for the same meal.

Garlicky Broccoli Subs

Serves 4 to 6

For the sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 to 2 drops fish sauce (optional)

For the roasted broccoli:
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, chopped into 1-inch florets
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the sandwich:
1 loaf soft French bread, split in half lengthwise
1 ounce Peppadew peppers, sliced into rings
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup crispy fried onions, such as French's French Fried Onions

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat 400°F. Meanwhile, make the sauce.

Place all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Refrigerate while the broccoli roasts.

Toss the broccoli, olive oil, garlic, and salt together in a large bowl. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Roast until tender and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Spread some of the special sauce on the cut sides of the bread — you might not use all the sauce. Place the warm broccoli on the bottom half of the bread. Top with the Peppadews, feta, and fried onions. Close the sandwich and press down gently. Let the sandwich sit for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

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