Ottolenghi’s chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic

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One of my New Year’s resolutions is to befriend Yotam Ottolenghi, but that’s beside the point: this recipe transforms broccoli into something spectacular. I have always been a broccoli believer – as long as it isn’t overcooked, it’s practically guaranteeed that I will be enthused by it. This recipe is simply perfect as barbecue side-dish food, packed lunch sustenance, night shift nutrition, and even better, it’s open to adaptation. I’m not inclined to measure anything out when prepping vegetables – I prefer to simply eyeball and assess the result via taste. I’ve attempted to approximate what I do, in any case.

This is not Ottolenghi’s exact recipe – I’ve adapted it for simplicity, laziness and what I have on hand, as any good recipe should, eh?

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large heads broccoli, torn into floret/stem segments, suitable for rather large bites
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I use a lemon-infused variety)
  • 1 large spoonful crushed garlic (I buy mine pre-crushed with as few preservatives as possible)
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes (adjust for desired spiciness, obviously)
  • 2 tablespoons verjuice
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Optional: toasted slivered almonds, fresh pomegranate, etc.
  1. Blanche the broccoli florets in a large saucepan of gently simmering water for 2 minutes before draining in a colander and transferring to a large bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process. Drain in the same colander before drying thoroughly with paper towels or a clean teatowel.
  2. In the large bowl, combine the crushed garlic, sumac, chilli flakes, verjuice, oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Toss the blanched broccoli in the mixture before cooking over a barbecue grillplate on high heat. Turn when the broccoli is starting to achieve charred grill-marks (don’t be afraid for it to look a little burnt!).
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature – sprinkle extras on top if you’ve so chosen. This keeps well in the fridge for a few days for packed lunches, however I’m such a huge fan it never lasts that long.

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