Chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic


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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Toss the dry broccoli in a bowl with 45ml of the olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  4. Place a ridged griddle pan over a high heat and leave it there for at least 5 mins, until extremely hot.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Pour the oil, garlic and chilli over the hot broccoli and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with almonds or lemon just before serving if you like.