Charred Baby Broccoli
Summer is here, baby! Charred meats are fantastic but friends, please don't underestimate a perfectly charred vegetable. Pick a hearty vegetable that can withstand the high heat of the grill - broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, root vegetables - and give it a go! The grocery store had some beautiful baby broccoli this week, so that was my pick. My trick here is to briefly steam or blanch the vegetable first. If you can par-cook it before grilling, you are going to avoid overly charred or burnt vegetables; throwing the vegetables straight on the grill leaves the grill to do all the work - that will generally mean charred outsides and underdone insides. If you're cool with crunchy vegetables or are using a less dense vegetable (zucchini, green onions), then you can skip the blanching or steaming step but I prefer mine fork-tender.
We do have a little charcoal grill and I am too lazy and somewhat intimidated to figure it out. I hope to overcome my fear/laziness and grill something outside this summer but in the meantime, my castiron stove-top griddle worked out just great! Just remember to open a few windows and turn on the vent because my fire detector definitely went off. I have not tried this myself but I imagine you would get similar results if you add the broccoli to a dry castiron skillet to char them. You can really make this recipe for any meal - add a fried egg on top for brunch or serve as a side for dinner. This recipe, in particular, would go perfectly with my lamb chops (also great on a grill) or as a side with a bowl of rice and dal. Enjoy!
- 2 bunch or 10-12 stalks of baby broccoli
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 wedge lemon
Bring a pot of water to boil. While the water boils, prep the broccoli; cut the large stalks in half lengthwise. Once the water is boiling, place the stalks in, with the florets standing up. The florets are very tender and do not need to be submerged, though it's okay if some of your stalks are fully submerged. Blanch the broccoli for no more than 3 mins. Drain the broccoli and run it under some cold water to stop the cooking process. Lay the broccoli out on a cutting board or tray and toss in the olive oil.
Heat up a grill on the stove top on medium-high to high heat. Drop a little water to test if your grill is ready - if the water sizzles and evaporates quickly, add the broccoli to the grill. Season with salt and cook for 2 mins. Turn over and cook the other side for an additional 2 mins; cook longer on each side, if you want a deeper char.
Remove to a serving platter, squeeze some lemon juice, and serve!