Grilled Broccoli with Chile and Garlic

This recipe is definitely a “more than the sum of its parts” kind of thing.  It sounds so simple, but it’s totally delicious, and actually makes broccoli exciting to eat.  It comes from Yottam Ottolenghi.  


2 heads broccoli
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 mild red chiles, thinly sliced
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
toasted almonds or very thin lemon slices (I used both!)
Chopped anchovy


1.  Separate the broccoli into florets, leaving the individual stems that the florets are on intact.  Fill a large saucepan with plenty of water and bring to a boil.  Blanch the broccoli for 2 minutes only, not any longer.  Transfer the broccoli to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely.  It is important that the broccoli is not at all wet before proceeding.  You can pat it dry with a clean kitchen towel as well.  Toss the broccoli with 3 tablespoons olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

2.  Place a ridged grill pan over high heat and leave it there for at least 5 minutes.  I don’t have a ridged grill pan, so I just used my sturdy old cast iron skillet.  You just want to make sure it is good and hot.  Grill the broccoli in several batches.  Turn them over so that they get char marks all over.  Transfer each finished batch to a heat proof bowl. 

3.  While the broccoli is grilling, place the remaining 5 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and chiles.  I also added a bit of chopped anchovy to this mixture and I highly recommend doing that if you like anchovy!  Cook at a medium heat until the garlic turns just golden brown, being careful not to let it burn.  Pour the oil, garlic and chile over the hot broccoli and toss well together.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  

Serve warm or at room temperature.  Garnish with the lemons and almonds if you like.