Posted on January 11th, 2013 No comments
Much loved by customers at Ottolenghi’s restaurant, this can be made with calabrese or purple sprouting broccoli. For extra oomph, add four chopped anchovy fillets to the chilli and garlic when cooking them in the oil.
Preparation and cooking 15-20 minutes
2 heads broccoli or about 500g sprouting broccoli
115ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
coarse sea salt and black pepper
toasted flaked almonds or very thin slices of lemon (with skin) to garnish (optional)
Prepare the broccoli by separating it into florets or cut the sprouting broccoli into small pieces if necessary. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Throw in the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes only. With a large slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a bowl full of ice-cold water. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely. It must not be wet at all. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with 45ml of the oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Place a ridged riddle pan over a high heat and leave it there for at 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 rest of the oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and chillies. Cook over a medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown. Be careful not to let them burn – 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.
Photo and recipe from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
Posted on February 12th, 2012 No comments
Apologies for the lack of a recipe last week. This unusual winter salad can be made very quickly. It comes from chef Yotam Ottolenghi‘s weekly column in the Guardian. He says: “This salad is loved even by those who claim not to like tahini.”
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes (at most)
550g purple-sprouting broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
40g tahini paste
1½ tsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 tsp each black and white sesame seeds, toasted (or just 2 tsp white)
Trim any big leaves off the broccoli and cut off the woody base of the stems. Blanch for three minutes in boiling, salted water until al dente, refresh, drain and leave to dry.
Toss the broccoli in the oil, a teaspoon of salt and a large pinch of pepper, then cook on a very hot ridged griddle pan for two minutes on each side, until slightly charred and smoky. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the tahini, honey, lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt, and slowly start to add water half a tablespoon at a time. At first, the sauce will look as if it has split, but it will soon come back together. Add just enough water to make the sauce the consistency of honey – around three tablespoons in total.
Arrange the broccoli on a platter, drizzle with sauce and scatter with sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature.
Posted on March 6th, 2011 No comments
Jerusalem artichokes are a staple item in Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s weekly veg boxes at this time of year.
Unlike late winter brassicas, which are in short supply all over the UK, these knobbly roots seem to thrive in hard, frosty conditions. Our growing team are about to plant a new permanent bed of them to sustain us in future seasons.
Jerusalem artichokes are hardy perennials, related to sunflowers. They have attractive purple flowers and tall summer growth, so we’ll be using them as a windbreak (!) for our soft fruit area.
Camel CSA’s valiant volunteer picking and packing team dig up quantities of them and scrub them clean each week for the boxes - to accompanying groans from some of our members.
So what can you do with these often-neglected vegetables?
My family also like Nigel Slater’s casserole of artichokes and pork for deepest winter, which uses sausages. It sounds a bit odd but is a surprisingly good heartwarmer on a cold frosty evening.
The vegetarians among you could try Yotam Ottolenghi’s artichoke and goat’s cheese souffle or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Roast Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut and goat’s cheese salad.
So give Jerusalem artichokes a try. They’re flavoursome, versatile, easy to grow, should be local (if you’re living in the UK) and inexpensive. But be warned – a little goes a long way.