This Ottolenghi broccoli technique is more laborious than a gentle steaming but it is so worth it! Every time I’ve made it for friends they say it’s the best broccoli they’ve ever eaten. The instructions call for a ridged griddle pan but I’ve had decent results with an ordinary frying pan – you can still get a charring effect. Leftovers are delicious stuffed into pitta bread with hummus.
- 500g broccoli
- 115ml olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
- Coarse sea salt
- Black pepper
- To garnish (optional):
- Toasted flaked almonds or very thin slices of lemon (with skin)
- Prepare the broccoli by separating it into florets – leave on the individual small stems that the florets grow on. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to boil. It should be big enough to accommodate the broccoli easily.
- Put the broccoli in and blanch for 2 minutes only – don’t be tempted to cook longer. Using a slotted spoon, quickly transfer the broccoli to a bowl full of ice-cold water – you need it to stop cooking at once. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely. It’s important that it’s not wet at all.
- Toss the dry broccoli in a bowl 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 mins, until extremely hot.
- Grill the broccoli in several batches, depending on pan size of pan – the florets mustn’t be cramped. Turn them as they cook so they get char marks all over. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and continue with another batch.
- While the broccoli is grilling, put the rest of the oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and chillies. Cook over medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden, but don’t let the garlic or chilli burn.
- Pour the oil, garlic and chilli over the hot broccoli and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with almonds or lemon just before serving if you like.