Chargrilled Broccoli With Chilli & Garlic

  • 2 heads broccoli (about 500 g)
  • 1/2 cup/115 ml olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Toasted almonds or very thin lemon slices, for garnish (optional)

Prepare the broccoli by separating it into florets (leave on the florets’ individual stems). Fill a large saucepan with plenty of water and bring to a boil. It should be big enough to accommodate the broccoli easily. Throw in the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes only. 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 in a colander and allow to dry completely. It is important that the broccoli isn’t wet at all. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with 3 tablespoons/70 ml oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Place a ridged grill pan over high heat and leave it there for least 5 minutes, until it is extremely hot. Depending on the size of your pan, grill the broccoli in several batches. The florets mustn’t be cramped. Turn them around as they grill so they get char marks all over. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and continue with another batch.

While grilling the broccoli, place the remaining scant 5 tablespoons/70 ml oil in a small saucepan with garlic and chillies. Cook them over 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 on cooking 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.

*Source: Yotam Ottolenghi, The Cookbook

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