Chargrilled Broccoli With Chili and Garlic – Ottolenghi
From page 41 of ‘Ottolenghi – THE COOKBOOK
If you like this, you want to think about getting this cookbook, it’s full of the most beautiful recipes, most are user friendly and all have got a special, magic something, you probably won’t be sorry.
“If there’s a dish that’s become synonymous with Ottolenghi, second only to our meringues, it is this one. Customers come especially for it and always complain that their broccoli is never as exciting as ours. In all honesty, broccoli is a boring vegetable and you do need a magic touch to bring it to life.
If followed carefully, this recipe does the trick. It has a bit of a history in itself. Sami started cooking it at Baker and Spice after having brought it over from Lilith, a restaurant in Tel Aviv. It is still a winner at Baker and Spice and at Ottolenghi, even though standard broccoli is losing popularity to the tender purple sprouting broccoli.
For even more oomph, add four chopped anchovy fillets to the chilli and garlic when cooking them in the oil.”
Chargrilled Broccoli With Chili and Garlic
Serves 2 – 4
- 2 heads of broccoli (about 500g)
- 115ml olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
- Coarse sea salt and black pepper
- Toasted flaked almonds or very thin slices of lemon (with skin) to garnish (optional)
- Prepare the broccoli by separating it into florets (leave on the individual small stems that the florets grow on). Fill a large saucepan with plenty of water and bring to the boil. It should be big enough to accommodate the broccoli easily. Throw the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes only. Don’t be tempted to cook it any longer. Using a large slotted spoon, quickly transfer the broccoli to a bowl full of ice-cold water – you need to stop the cooking at once. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely. It is important that the broccoli isn’t wet at all. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with 45ml of the olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Place a ridged griddle pan over a high heat and leave it there for at least 5 minutes, until it is extremely hot. Depending on the size of your pan, grill the broccoli in several batches. The florets mustn’t be cramped. Turn them around as they grill so they get char marks all over. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and continue with another batch.
- While grilling the broccoli, place the rest of the oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and chillies. Cook them over a medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown. Be careful not to let the garlic and chili burn – remember, they will keep on cooking even when off the heat. Pour the oil, garlic, and chili over the hot broccoli and toss together well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. You can garnish the broccoli with almonds or lemon just before serving, if you like.