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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!).
- 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.