Broccoli comes into its personal grilled or charred, then paired with punchy flavours: try it fried with pickled stems, in a super-savoury pasta or doused in wealthy mushroom ketchup
Unlike its cousins, cauliflower and cabbage, broccoli isn’t in any respect at ease being cooked for a long time with moderate-mannered substances. All my beyond tries at being smart and growing the broccoli equal of cauliflower cheese, for instance, have been fiascos: the creamy sauce can not keep its very own in opposition to the dominant vegetable, which goes gray, soggy and miserable-looking. Instead, pass for excessive-effect cooking (grilling, charring, frying), and pair broccoli with something punchy, ambitious and umami-rich, such as soy sauce, anchovy, mushrooms and infused oils and vinegars. All can in shape the wild spirit of broccoli, and help display it off in all its glory.
Fried broccoli florets and pickled stems (pictured above)
The fried broccoli florets, tossed in sweetened soy, might also remind you of sure Chinese dishes. Here, I’ve combined them with brief-pickled broccoli stems, so their richness is balanced with the aid of light acidity. Double this quantity if you want to serve this as a vegan fundamental route with some sticky rice along.
Prep 10 min
Salting 1 hr
Cook 25 min
Serves 4 as a facet
700g broccoli (ie, 2 heads), reduce into chunk-sized florets and 2 stems
three tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ crimson chilli, thinly sliced
35ml mild soy sauce
2 tsp caster sugar
500ml sunflower oil
5g basil leaves, more or less torn
⅓ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly beaten in a mortar
Trim the 2 broccoli stems so they’re more or less rectangular – they don’t need to be ideal. Shave the stems lengthways into skinny strips, using a mandoline, preferably. Stacking some strips on pinnacle of every other at a time, reduce into satisfactory julienne sticks, then installed a bowl, upload half a teaspoon of salt, toss to mix and leave to sit down for an hour. Squeeze out some of the salty liquid together with your palms, then transfer the salted broccoli to a clean bowl, toss with two tablespoons of the vinegar and the chilli, and depart to pickle at the same time as you get on with the rest of the dish.
Put the soy sauce, sugar and final tablespoon of vinegar in a small saucepan on a medium-high warmness. Bring to a boil, turn right down to a simmer for 2 mins, then take off the warmth – the sauce will thicken because it cools.
Put the sunflower oil in medium saucepan on a medium-excessive warmness. Once it’s particularly warm, fry the broccoli florets a handful at a time till softened and golden in locations, about 45 seconds a batch (and six batches in all). Make sure the oil comes returned as much as temperature before including every new batch. Using a slotted spoon, switch the fried broccoli to a tray lined with absorbent paper, then pass to a huge bowl and toss within the soy sauce combination.
To serve, spread 1/2 the pickled broccoli on a huge, round plate and set up the fried broccoli on top. Top with the ultimate pickle, basil and cumin, and serve.
Orecchiette with broccoli and rocket
This is a tackle a classic Puglian dish, that’s traditionally made with broccoli rabe (or cime di rapa). The concept is that the pasta and broccoli cook together, with the broccoli finally slightly melding into the sauce. Omit the anchovies and use vegetarian parmesan to make this vegetarian.
Prep 20 min
Cook 40 min
100ml olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled, five finely sliced and 1 overwhelmed
2 salted anchovies, more or less chopped
2 heads broccoli, broken into 2cm florets (shop the stalks for any other use), 500g net weight
1 lemon, zest finely grated, to get 2 tsp, then juiced, to get 1 tbsp
Salt and black pepper
500ml vegetable inventory
100ml white wine
30g unsalted butter
250g dried orecchiette
30g parmesan, finely grated
20g basil leaves, finely chopped
20g parsley, finely chopped
25g rocket, finely chopped
½ tsp aleppo chilli (or ¼ tsp flaked chilli)
Heat 70ml of the oil in a huge saute pan for that you have a lid on a medium flame, then lightly fry the sliced garlic for approximately 5 mins, stirring frequently, till golden and aromatic. Add the anchovies, broccoli, half of the lemon zest, half of a teaspoon of salt and lots of pepper, and cook, stirring often, for four mins. Add the stock, wine, butter and 300ml water, deliver to a simmer and cook for five minutes extra, or till the broccoli starts to soften, then stir within the pasta, 1/2 the parmesan and a teaspoon of salt. Turn down the warmth to medium, cowl the pan and depart to cook for 12-15 mins, till the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is soft and breaking down into the sauce.
In a small bowl, integrate the herbs, rocket, crushed garlic and the remaining teaspoon of lemon zest, then stir into the pasta. Scatter over the closing 15g parmesan, drizzle the remaining tablespoons of oil on pinnacle, and finish with the lemon juice and aleppo chilli.
Purple sprouting broccoli with mushroom ketchup
This mushroom ketchup is impossible to resist and is cute spread on toast for breakfast, so by means of all means double the quantities and keep the excess in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for as much as per week.
Prep 15 min
Soak 20 min
Cook 45 min
Serves four as a side
600g purple sprouting broccoli
2 garlic cloves, peeled and overwhelmed
three tbsp olive oil
Flaked sea salt and black pepper
For the ketchup
20g dried porcini, rehydrated in 400ml warm water for 20 mins
30g caster sugar
3 tbsp mild soy sauce
200g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed (use them for shares) and caps more or less chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
For the nori topping
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 tsp nori sprinkle (or dried nori sheets, blitzed in a spice grinder)
1½ tbsp crisp onions (save-offered), kind of crumbled
20g salted peanuts, finely chopped
1 tsp aleppo chilli
Heat the oven to 260C (240C fan)/gasoline 9+. While it’s heating up, drain the porcini, booking their soaking liquid, then roughly chop.
Put the sugar in a medium saucepan on a medium warmness and leave to cook dinner, resisting the urge to stir, for approximately 12 mins, or till it is a light caramel color. Carefully, add the soy sauce and 3 tablespoons of the reserved porcini liquid, and stir to mix; it’ll bubble and sizzle vigorously (don’t worry if it seizes up a little; it will quickly melt backpedal). Turn up the warmth to medium-excessive, add the shiitakes and cook dinner for 4 mins, or till they have released their liquid and are properly coated in the caramel. Add the porcini and 250ml in their soaking liquid, carry to a boil and cook dinner for eight mins, or until reduced through half of. Transfer to a meals processor and blitz for approximately a minute, until quite smooth. With the motor nonetheless walking, upload the vinegar, oil, 1/2 a teaspoon of flaked salt and a terrific grind of pepper, and blitz for 2 mins, until absolutely smooth, then set aside at room temperature.
In a bowl, toss the broccoli, garlic, oil, a teaspoon of flaked salt and an awesome grind of pepper. Transfer to an oven tray covered with baking paper and roast for eight mins, or till cooked through and gently charred.
While the broccoli is within the oven, make the nori topping through combining all of the elements in a small bowl with half of a teaspoon of flaked salt.
To serve, divide the ketchup among four plates, top with the broccoli and end with a spoonful of the nori aggregate, serving any more alongside.