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The Daily Dish Life After Top Chef

Mike Isabella's Broccolini With Red Pepper Relish

Exclusive: Whip up this healthy recipe from Mike's new cookbook 'Crazy Good Italian'

By Mike Hess

In case you haven't heard, it's Healthy Week here at Bravo (and across NBC Universal), and as luck would have it, we spent a little time with Top Chef alum Mike Isabella recently on the heels of his cookbook Crazy Good Italian. So when we asked the chef to share a tasty-and-healthy recipe from his shiny new book with our fans, his Broccolini with Roasted Red Pepper Relish and Feta recipe stood out as an obvious winner.

Because it's Mike, there's a little Italian mixed with a touch of Greek in this one, and he favors broccolini "because the stalks are long and tender and the florets are smaller than broccoli, which means it needs less time to cook." With the addition of the red pepper relish ("Pickled peppadew peppers are one of my favorite condiments. Open my
refrigerator, and you’ll always see them in there," Mike says) for some bite and a tiny bit of feta for some sharp punch, this one's a winner. Click Here to Buy Crazy Good Italian!

Mike Isabella's Broccolini with Roasted Red Pepper Relish and Feta

For Pepper Relish:
2 red bell peppers, brushed with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 pickled peppadew peppers, finely chopped
1 pickled red cherry pepper,
stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

If you’re short on time, 3/4 cup finely diced jarred roasted red peppers can be substituted for roasting your own bell peppers.
1. Preheat the broiler on high. Place the oven rack in the second-highest position.
2. Place the bell peppers on their sides on a baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes on each side, leaving about 3 inches between the top of the peppers and the broiler flame. This will take 20–25 minutes. The skins will become charred and the flesh soft.
3. Place the peppers in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.
4. In a dry sauté pan, toast the walnuts over medium heat for 7–8 minutes, shaking the pan often to prevent burning. When the walnuts are fragrant and toasted,
remove from heat and finely chop.
5. Slice the cooled peppers lengthwise in half and remove the skin, ribs, and seeds. Finely dice, place in a bowl, and toss with walnuts, peppadews, red cherry
pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt.

Relish can be refrigerated for 1 week.

For Broccolini

4 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
16 stalks broccolini
1/2 cup crumbled feta

1. In a stockpot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Set a bowl of ice water to the side.
2. Trim 1 inch from the end of each broccolini stem and discard. Blanch the broccolini for 1 minute and shock in ice water until chilled. Pat dry with paper towels.
3. Arrange broccolini on a serving dish and top with the Roasted Pepper Relish and feta. Serve at room temperature.

(Photo: Greg Powers)

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