Our last stop on this week’s tour of Okanagan culinary hot spots takes us to dinner at Brodo Kitchen. Read Marc Smith’s account here.
Chef Paul Cecconi is mincing yellow and green zucchini in the tiny kitchen of his newly-opened restaurant, Brodo Kitchen, while his sous chef is braising meat. They are prepping to cook dinner for the rapper Macklemore.
It’s the weekend of Boonstock in Penticton, and local celeb chefs have been tapped to cook dinner for the headliners in an exclusive, private airport hanger on the outskirts of town. Tomorrow, he cooks for Macklemore, but tonight, he’s making dinner for us.
Located in an odd corner on Penticton’s main street, the space has been many things, including a tire store. Now, however, it’s bright and sunny, with rustic wood touches and homey, country-style antiques. Brodo is open for lunch and dinner, primarily serving soups, salads and sandwiches, in a style that’s casual and easy.
The kitchen is tiny, but Chef Paul makes magic in there. What comes out of his kitchen is simple, local and fresh, and incredibly delicious.
There’s a feature soup, salad and sandwich that change daily, but there are favourites you can find here all the time: tortilla soup, for example, french onion, and a roasted tomato made with heirloom tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market (which takes place every Saturday on the street just outside Brodo’s door). The night we were there, Chef Paul treated us to a chilled Honeydew soup with crema drizzled on top. Salads include a caesar, a smart dill-potato salad served with smoked salmon, and a creamy curried quinoa with lentils, raisins and almonds. All the meat for his sandwiches he roasts in house, and includes a pulled pork, a roasted turkey, and an ocean-wise albacore tuna (on an elevated tuna melt). There is also vegetarian options: a grilled cheese and a mushroom bruschetta with chevre.
But for me, the dessert was absolutely life-changing, and if you are ever in Penticton, you must go immediately to Brodo and order one. This is an ice cream sandwich unlike any you’ve ever had before. Two of Chef Paul’s homemade chocolate cookies–the perfect texture–thin but still chewy, between which is sandwiched a scoop of Gorgeous Georgia’s Bacon Maple Ice Cream. A local biz that started out as a vegan food truck last year, Gorgeous Georgia’s has branched out into non-vegan ice creams, as well. Thank goodness. This ice cream still bears the bite of amber maple syrup, married with bits of fried bacon.
Brodo also features local beer, wine and cinder, including Ward’s from nearby Kelowna (which I went and visited the next day).
I loved this salad when I tried it that night. I’d never thought to combine quinoa with curry, but it really works. The final result is a sweeter salad, and I swapped out Chef Paul’s lentils (although you could keep them in for added protein if you were eating this by itself, not as a side) for bits of crunchy green apple. It is, of course, gluten-free, to boot.
For the salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 granny smith apple
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped green herbs: cilantro, flat-leaf parsley or mint would work well
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (sweeten to your taste)
- 1-2 tbsp curry powder (again, to your taste–I like the stronger curry favour)
- 1 tsp turmeric (for colour)
- 1 tsp salt
- In a small pot, place the quinoa with 2 cups of water. Stir well, bring to a boil, and then turn down to simmer, about 10 minutes, until nearly all the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat, place a lid on the pot, and remove the pot to a back burner to sit for about 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and then place into a bowl.
- Add the apples, raisins, nuts and herbs, and stir well. Place in the fridge to cool.
- In a small mason jar, place all the dressing ingredients. Shake well to combine, and taste for sweetness and seasoning. Pour onto the salad, and mix well. Allow to sit in the fridge to combine flavours for at least an hour before serving.