Charred Broccoli Caesar


  • Prep Time30 mins
  • Total Time1 hr
Charred Broccoli Caesar

Excerpted from Heydays at the June Motel: Beach Town Classics by Freddy Laliberté and Evan Baulch, with Katie Laliberté and Emma Baulch.

This fresh, snappy take on grilled caesar salad hails from the June Motel's new cookbook, Heydays.


  • 1 large head of broccoli

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 to 4 tbsp water

  • ¼ cup Everything Bagel mix

  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 6 lemon wedges

Heydays Caesar Dressing (makes 4 cups)

  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2½ tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp finely grated garlic

  • 1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups mayonnaise


  • Using a sharp knife, cut the broccoli in half. Lay the halves cut-side down on the cutting board, and then make about six pie-like slices so that you are left with long florets that have some surface area and will get nice colour while cooking. You might want to make a few more lengthwise cuts so you’re left with manageable pieces for eating. Toss the florets in a bowl with the oil, salt, and pepper.

  • Get your cast iron or heavy-bottomed pan very hot over medium- high heat, and then add the broccoli pieces. Cook the broccoli until you get hints of char in the florets. Add a few tablespoons of water to give the broccoli a bit of a steam bath. (This broccoli is also great done on a grill in the summertime.)

  • The broccoli should be nicely charred with some slight crunch left. Once you’re happy with the colour of the broccoli, remove it from the heat and lay it out flat on a tray to cool. Ideally, do this about a half hour before serving so that the broccoli is just slightly warm.

  • Heydays Caesar Dressing: In a large bowl, using a spatula, stir together the Parmesan, Dijon, Worcestershire, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper. Fold in the mayo.

  • Just before plating, toss the cooked broccoli in about ½ cup (125 mL) of Heydays Caesar Dressing, adding more until you achieve a sauciness that you like. Using tongs, divide the broccoli between six serving plates or serve together on a large platter.

  • Top with about 2 tbsp Everything Bagel Mix per serving. Follow with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan overtop. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side, and encourage guests to squeeze it over the broccoli for an extra zing of freshness to cut through the rich dressing. Cover and refrigerate extra dressing for up to a week.

Kitchen tip

We recommend you grate the Parmesan with a fine-toothed grater or the small holes of a box grater.

While we might be best known for our Hot Lobster Rolls, this is one of our more popular dishes, and certainly the recipe we get asked for the most. It was originally inspired by a broccolini version at a restaurant in Prince Edward County that was popular around the time that The June Motel opened in Picton, Ontario. We couldn’t get it out of our heads, so we made our own at-home Caesar dressing, opted for broccoli instead of broccolini, and added a little crunch with Heydays Everything Bagel Mix—what Freddy calls his “bird seed”. — Freddy & Katie Laliberté and Evan & Emma Baulch

Excerpted from Heydays at the June Motel: Beach Town Classics by Freddy Laliberté and Evan Baulch, with Katie Laliberté and Emma Baulch. ©2024 Home Phone Holdings Inc and 2745690 Ontario Ltd. Published by House of Anansi Press.

Charred Broccoli Caesar