Although author Tamasin Day-Lewis teams her grilled broccoli or broccolini with a robust romesco sauce, we actually omitted that part of the equation, so woo’d were we by the sheer and simple genius of grilling crucifers with a little olive oil, chile, and garlic. If you don’t have a grill, you can come close by blasting the blanched broccoli in a hot oven. You won’t achieve quite the same smokey flavor, you can come close. Bear in mind, with so few ingredients, each one contributes in a big way. You may want to reach for a sturdy bunch of in-season broccoli, preferably one that’s incomparably fresh from the farmers’ market, rather than try to resurrect the wilted bunch that’s withering in the bottom of your vegetable bin.–David Leite
Grilled Broccoli or Broccolini
- 2 heads of broccoli, broken into florets, or 3/4 to 1 pound (340 to 455 g) broccolini, ends trimmed
- 3 to 4 tablespoons good, fruity olive oil
- 1 green chile, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Throw the florets or broccolini into a large pan of rapidly boiling, salted water and blanch for 2 minutes. Immediately drain in a colander and refresh with cold water to arrest the cooking process and retain the color. Drain well.
- Heat up the grill. Dry the florets with paper towels, then put them in a bowl. Pour over 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss with your hands to coat the florets. Sprinkle with the chile.
- When the grill is really hot, lay the vegetables on it, leaving room in between them to grasp them with tongs. Cook until they have scorch marks, then turn them and repeat. Spear the grilled broccoli with a skewer to check when they are tender. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, heat another 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil very slowly in a small pan with the garlic and remove from the heat the moment it is hot. Place the grilled broccoli in a serving bowl, pour the warm garlicky oil over the top, and season with salt and pepper.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
The broccoli remained lovely and crisp and became slightly charred on the grill. That char gets me every time! This recipe isn’t exactly special or extraordinary – just plain simple and good. Both the chile and garlic oil were sufficient for rounding out the flavour. It is a pleasure to add this to my “make again” list!
This tasty dish disproves the cliché that children don’t like broccoli. Its crunchy texture combined with the subtly sweet scent and flavour of the fruity olive oil, and the satisfying seasoning of freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, make for a delicious bite. My kids, though hesitant to try some at first, greedily gobbled it up. It even caused a minor miracle as my five-year-old asked me the very next day when she could have broccoli again. (Soon, girl, soon.)
For a more adult version, I made an extra serving with red pepper flakes. This spicy, sharp, and earthy addition heightened the flavour of the broccoli and gave this already great recipe gourmet vibes, as did the process of both blanching and scorching the broccoli. Whether served as a snack or side, this savory, wholesome, and affordable dish is worthy of high rotation. Put simply, in the hands of this surprising recipe, broccoli is bland no more.