Unlike its cousins, cauliflower and cabbage, broccoli isn’t at all secure being cooked for a long term with slight-mannered substances. All my beyond tries at being smart and growing the broccoli equal of cauliflower cheese, for example, had been fiascos: the creamy sauce cannot hold its very own against the dominant vegetable, which goes grey, soggy and depressing-looking. Instead, pass for high-effect cooking (grilling, charring, frying), pair broccoli with something punchy, bold, and umami-rich, together with soy sauce, anchovy, mushrooms, and infused oils and vinegar. All can match the wild spirit of broccoli and assist display it off in all its glory.
Fried broccoli florets and pickled stems (pictured above)
The fried broccoli florets, tossed in sweetened soy, may also remind you of positive Chinese dishes. Here, I’ve mixed them with brief-pickled broccoli stems, so their richness is balanced using mild acidity. Double this amount if you need to serve this as a vegan, most important course with some sticky rice along.
- Prep 10 min
- Salting 1 hr
- Cook 25 min
- Serves four as a facet
700g broccoli (i.e., 2 heads), cut into chew-sized florets and a couple of stems
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ purple chili, 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 more or less beaten in a mortar
Trim the two broccoli stems so they’re rectangular – they don’t want to be best. Shave the stems lengthways into thin strips, the use of a mandoline, ideally. Stacking a few strips on the pinnacle of each different at a time, cut into quality julienne sticks, then put in a bowl, upload 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, toss to mix, and leave to sit for an hour. Squeeze out a number of the salty liquid along with your hands, then transfer the salted broccoli to a smooth bowl, toss with tablespoons of the vinegar and the chili, 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-excessive warmth. Bring to a boil, flip all the way down to a simmer for 2 minutes, then take off the warmth – the sauce will thicken as it cools.
Put the sunflower oil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Once it’s boiling, fry the broccoli florets a handful at a time until softened and golden in places, approximately 45 seconds a batch (and six batches in all). Make sure the oil comes lower back as much as temperature before adding each new batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried broccoli to a tray covered with absorbent paper, then circulate to a large bowl and toss in the soy sauce mixture.
To serve, spread half the pickled broccoli on a huge, spherical plate and set up the fried broccoli on top. Top with the remaining pickle, basil, and cumin, and serve.
Orecchiette with broccoli and rocket
This is a take on a traditional Puglian dish traditionally made with broccoli rabe (or some di rape). The concept is that the pasta and broccoli cook together, with the broccoli in the end barely melding into the sauce. Omit the anchovies and use vegetarian parmesan to make this vegetarian.
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