This is the first recipe I’ve tried from my lovely Ottolenghi cookbook. It was a birthday present from in-laws who know me well and knew I’d been lusting after it. After flipping through it in a sort of from-a-distance way for several weeks, I sat down at the weekend and got a teensy bit overexcited with post-its. I want to make everything. There’s so much flavour in every recipe it’s almost like you’re getting smacked in the face with it. In a good way.
I’ve been told that the cakes are amazing and as you can imagine, I’m rather childishly excited to get to them. But I wanted to try something asap and this recipe is apparently Ottolenghi, the restaurant/cafe’s signature dish.
If you want a simple way to tart up broccoli, this here is for you. It’s not complicated, but it’s good. I went a little heavy on the oil (being too lazy to convert the measurements first) so watch out for that. This dish calls for a delicate hand to get the flavours spot on. This is another reason why I’m a better baker: I like precision and when I’m left to my own devices, I tend to go overboard.
If you’re looking for a colourful and bright dish for this long holiday weekend (in the States) or a picnic take-along (anywhere) this would be a most excellent choice.
Chargrilled Broccoli with Chilli and Garlic
from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
- 2 heads of broccoli (approx. 18oz)
- 100ml olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 mild red chillies/jalapenos, thinly sliced
- coarse sea salt and black pepper
- toasted almond flakes
- very thin slices of lemon (with skin) to garnish (optional)
- Separate the broccoli into florets and blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes – 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 and leave to dry completely.
- Once the broccoli is dry, toss with 40ml of the olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place a griddle pan on high heat and leave for 5 minutes until smoking hot. Grill the broccoli in batches on the hot pan, turning to get lovely char marks on all sides. If, like me, you don’t have a griddle pan, use your barbecue!
- While the broccoli is cooking, place the remaining oil in a small saucepan together 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 chilli burn – remember they will keep even when off the heat.
- Pour the oil, garlic and chilli 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.