Sprouting Broccoli w/ Fresh Mozzarella, Green Garlic Oil + Everything Breadcrumbs

By George Sabatino

Authors Notes

I’m a sucker for charred, still crunchy broccoli. The same can be said about fresh mozzarella. Combining them here & garnishing with a flavorful oil and toasty seasoned breadcrumbs is easy and makes a great starter.

Be sure to let your cheese come to room temp before putting the dish together. As said below, the extra oil and breadcrumbs will store well- they are also delicious on many things. I generally like to keep my pantry stocked with these two simple recipes

Serves 2-3 as an appetizer.


Green Garlic Oil: (this will make more than needed but it’s tasty on almost anything)

1 stalk green garlic, tender green and tops only, chopped (reserve whites parts)

¼ bunch parsley, Italian, finely chopped

1 ea lemon, zest only

1 pinch red chili flake

1 pinch kosher salt

¼ cup EVOO

Everything Breadcrumbs: (it’s ok to just buy everything spice mix to replace seeds if you like)

¼ cup panko

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

1 teaspoon flax seeds

1 teaspoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon EVOO

1 pinch kosher salt

For The Broccoli:

1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola

½ pound flowering broccoli

1 pinch kosher salt

½ ea lemon juice only, fresh squeezed

To Finish The Dish:

2 ea 4 oz balls fresh mozzarella, drained, patted dry

1 ea radish, cut into ⅛ wedges

1 ea lemon, zest only

½ ea lemon, juice

1 pinch maldon sea salt

To taste black pepper, fresh cracked

Method + Assembly

Green Garlic Oil Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix well. Check seasoning and adjust if needed. 
  2. Any excess can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to a week.

Breadcrumbs Method:

  1. Combine the breadcrumbs and seeds in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Cook until golden brown and fragrant- stirring and shaking the pan constantly, about 5 minutes.
  2. When evenly browned add the oil, salt, mix well to coat and cook an additional 1 minute. 
  3. Turn out onto a tray to cool. 
  4. Any excess can be stored, covered, at room temp for up to a month.

Broccoli Method:

  1. In a sauté pan large enough to hold all the vegetables- heat oil over medium high flame until shimmering. Add the broccoli in a single layer, season with salt, allow to caramelize without moving- about 3 minutes. 
  2. Flip the pan and allow it to caramelize for another 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and remove from heat. Check seasoning and adjust as needed. Turn out onto a tray and allow to cool.
  3. Chop the broccoli slightly and set aside.


  1. Choose a serving platter, this will be a family style situation.
  2. Tear each ball of cheese in half rustically and place in a line in the center of the platter.
  3. Spoon chopped broccoli tightly around the cheese.
  4. Place radishes around but on top of the broccoli.
  5. Season the cheese w/ maldon & cracked black pepper.
  6. Mix up then generously spoon green garlic oil all over the cheese and around the dish.
  7. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, lemon zest and a few drops of lemon juice.
  8. Serve immediately. 

George Sabatino is a Philadelphia chef who is dedicating his career to developing vegetable focused dishes, with special attention to sourcing locally and treating all ingredients (and their journeys from farm to table) with respect and purpose.