This recipe is a riff on one by Ottolenghi in his book Ottolenghi. He also riffs it, with numerous variations on the Guardian website and elsewhere. It just proves how addictive broccoli is when it is char-grilled and tossed with garlic and chilli. We have been making this salad periodically for years – my daughter was the first to put me on to how good it is.
This time, I add beans to the mix, as (ssshhh, this is a little known secret) are also addictive when char-grilled. I’ve used a delicious sweet-hot chilli paste, and the garlic is sliced and crisped. An optional extra is to add flaked almonds to the salad.
Sadly, there are no pics tonight, an increasing trend on this blog when we cook at night. You will have to trust sight-unseen on how good this dish is. Photo is from Unsplash.
Charred Broccoli and Bean Salad with Chilli and Garlic
2 heads broccoli (about 500g)
handful of green beans, top and tailed
110ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tspn home made chilli paste, or 2 mild red chillies (or to taste)
sea salt and black pepper
flaked almonds, or lime zest (optional)
Cut the broccoli into florets with parts of the long stem attached. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
You might have to blanch the vegetables in 2 batches. Add the broccoli and beans to the boiling water and simmer for 2 mins only. Remove from the water, refresh in ice water, drain and allow to dry completely. I tip them onto a fresh tea towel to dry.
Heat a large grill pan on the stove for at least 5 mins. A flat pan or ridged one can be used.
While waiting, toss the broccoli and beans in a bowl with 40ml olive oil and generous amounts of salt and pepper. You might have to cook them in 2 batches as it is important they are not cramped.
Place the vegetables on the grill pan and toss as needed to char them well. Transfer to a bowl and continue with the next batch. Season with sea salt and pepper as needed.
Place the remaining oil in a small saucepan and add the chilli paste or chillies with the garlic slices. Saute until the garlic slices are golden and crispy. Be careful that the garlic does not burn. Pour the oil, garlic and chilli over the broccoli and beans and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with flaked almonds or lime zest if desired.