Ottolenghi’s Chargrilled Broccoli with Fried Chilli and Garlic

Ottolenghi's Chargrilled Broccoli with Chile, Garlic, and Lemon (2 of 2)

My second attempt at Ottolenghi’s signature chargrilled broccoli dish. For those who aren’t aware, Yotam Ottolenghi, originally from Jerusalem, is a British-based chef, cookery writer and restaurant owner. He actually studied at Tel Aviv University before completing a master’s degree in comparative literature. It was not until in 1997, when he moved to the UK to plan to start his PhD, that he enrolled himself to train at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in London for six months. Following LCB, he waved goodbye to his PhD ambitions and worked as a pastry chef at The Capital, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Knightsbridge. From there he moved to work in the pastry section of the Kensington Place restaurant and that of the sister restaurant, Launceston Place, for a year, under the chef Rowley Leigh. He eventually became head pastry chef at Baker and Spice in Chelsea, London, where he met Sami Tamimi – co-founder of their delicatessens and restaurants and co-author of the Ottolenghi and Jerusalem cookery books – in 1999.

I personally love middle eastern food so am a fan of Ottolenghi’s cooking style. The smorgasbord of delicate spices and concoction of rich flavours; think hummus, dates, sumac, honey, pitas, chickpeas, mint and parsley.

Ottolenghi’s cooking style is rooted in, but not confined to, his Middle Eastern upbringing: “a distinctive mix of Middle Eastern flavours – Syrian, Turkish, Lebanese, Iranian, Israeli and Armenian – with a western twist”. His “particular skill is in marrying the food of his native Israel with a wider range of incredible textures and flavours from the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia.

Chargrilled broccoli with fried chilli and garlic is one of Ottolenghi’s signature dishes. This recipe calls for a ridged grill pan to create those lovely char marks on the broccoli. I personally like adding a few slices of lemon as a garnish and for an instant colour boost to liven up the green dish.

Recipe below from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottaoelnghi & Sami Tamimi, copyright 2013.

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2 as a side)

  • 1 heads broccoli (about 1/2 lb/500 g)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 mild red chiles, thinly sliced
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • toasted almonds or 1 lemon sliced into thin slices, for garnish (optional)


1. Prepare the broccoli by separating it into florets (can leave on the florets’ individual stems but I personally don’t fancy stems too much so chopped them off here). Fill a large saucepan with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Throw in the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes only. Don’t be tempted to cook it any longer!

Ottolenghi's Chargrilled Broccoli with Chile, Garlic, and Lemon (18 of 18)

2. Using a large slotted spoon, quickly transfer the broccoli to a bowl full of ice-cold water. You need to stop the cooking at once. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely. I found wrapping it in a tea towel and giving it a good massage, followed by a rigorous spin in the salad spinner, helps immensely. It is important that the broccoli isn’t wet at all. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with 3 tablespoons/70 ml oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Ottolenghi's Chargrilled Broccoli with Chile, Garlic, and Lemon (14 of 18)

Ottolenghi's Chargrilled Broccoli with Chile, Garlic, and Lemon (12 of 18)

3. Place a ridged grill pan over high heat and leave it there for 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.

Ottolenghi's Chargrilled Broccoli with Chile, Garlic, and Lemon (9 of 18)

4. While grilling the broccoli, place the remaining scant 5 tablespoons/70 ml oil in a small saucepan with garlic and chiles. Cook them over medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown. Be careful not to let the garlic and chile burn–remember, they will keep on cooking even when off the heat. In the meantime, slice the lemon into thin half slices.

Ottolenghi's Chargrilled Broccoli with Chile, Garlic, and Lemon (8 of 18)

5. Pour the oil, garlic, and chile over the hot broccoli and toss together well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the lemon slices or toasted almonds (if preferred). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Ottolenghi's Chargrilled Broccoli with Chile, Garlic, and Lemon (1 of 2)

Ottolenghi's Chargrilled Broccoli with Chile, Garlic, and Lemon (7 of 18)


Crispy Broccoli Parmesan Fritters

Broccoli Fritters (2 of 13)

Broccoli will never have to taste so bland again!!!

Why not switch up the way you cook broccoli and make fritters instead? Incorporating all the goodness of broccoli with some naughty indulgence of parmesan, I present to you thy crispy broccoli fritter. Serve these crispy fritters with some greek yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon juice (I swirled in some pesto too). Vegetables no longer have to taste so bland ever again! In fact, your children (for those of you who have them) may even like it so much that they will be  persistently asking you to fry them some everyday.


Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense foods. It is especially rich in Vitamin C and an excellent source of vitamins K, A, B6 and E, as well as folic accident fibre. It is a very good source of phosphorous, potassium, magnesium. It also contains glucosinolates, phytochemical with tremendous anticancer effects, and the carotenoid lutein. A 3/5 ounce (100 gram) searching of cooked broccoli provides 35 calories, 2/3 grams of protein, no cholesterol, 0.4 gram of fat, 7.2 grams of carbohydrate, and 3.3 grams of fibre.

Broccoli demonstrates remarkable anticancer effects, particularly in breast cancer. Compounds know as glucosinolates, specifically indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, increase the excretion of the form of oestrogen linked to breast cancer. Indole-3-carbinol also increases the ability of the liver to detoxify toxic compounds as well as decreases the growth of human papillomavirus (a virus linked to cervical cancer; and hence the widely encouraged Gardicil vaccination for young women). Broccoli is also a rich source of lutein, which has also demonstrated anticancer effects. It may also be helpful in warding against the development of age-related macular degeneration, as this carotenoid is concentrated in the retina, where it acts to protect it from damage.

Preliminary studies suggest that, in order to cut the risk of chancery half, the average person would need to eat about two pounds of broccoli or similar vegetables per week.

INGREDIENTS (yields 5):

  •  1 small-medium sized bundle of broccoli (~225 grams / 3 cups chopped)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose/wholemeal flour
  • 1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt (or more), to taste
  • A pinch of red chilli flakes or ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Greek yoghurt and dash of lemon juice to serve (optional)


1) Prepare your broccoli. Wash and separate the florets from the biggest stem(s). Chop florets into 1-inch chunks. Steam florets until tender but not mushy. (NB: lazy method is to just simply boil them).

Broccoli Fritters (13 of 13)

Broccoli Fritters (1 of 1)-2

2) Mash the steamed broccoli with a potato masher keeping the bits recognisable.

Broccoli Fritters (11 of 13)

2) Whisk the egg into a large bowl. Add the flour, grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix together.

Broccoli Fritters (12 of 13)

3) Add in mashed broccoli into mixture. Fold with spatula until everything is combined. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Broccoli Fritters (9 of 13)


4) Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in ~2 tablespoon of oil. Once oil heats up add a large spoonful of the batter and flatten with back of spatula or spoon. Pan-fry until golden on both sides (~2 minutes each side). You can cook multiple fritters at the same time, just make sure they don’t touch one another. Once cooked, transfer each fritter to a paper towel to drain.

Broccoli Fritters (5 of 13)

5) Serve fritters plain or with lemon juice. You can also serve with some greek yoghurt mixed with some lemon juice (I swirled in some additional pesto into my yoghurt).

Broccoli Fritters (1 of 1)