WATCH | Chef Amanda Cohen treats her kitchen at Dirt Candy like a lab: Why not turn eggplant into tiramisu? What happens when you divorce the texture from the taste?
"The broccoli dog recipe went through 40 different versions," said Grady Hendrix, Cohen's husband and manager at the Manhattan restaurant. "We really want people to taste [broccoli] like they're tasting it for the first time."
When Cohen first opened Dirt Candy in 2006, she had no political, ethical or moral agenda as to why she wanted to cook vegetables. Rather than replicating meat dishes with tofu and tempeh like many other vegetarian restaurants do, she focused on putting the vegetable at the center of the plate.
The broccoli dogs have been on the menu for a long time as one of the classic dishes, while Cohen continues to impress her diners with other experimental, one-of-a-kind dishes.
These are peppers, not real candy.
The popcorn beets are one of the most popular dishes on the menu.
Cohen also turned radishes into spaghetti noodles.
The broccoli hot dog offers many different versions of broccoli in one dish, with smoked broccoli stalk, sprouts and sauerkraut on top for crunchiness, broccoli puree for sauce and broccoli rabe leaves on the side.