“And When You Least Expect It, You Will See the Mountain Move…”

… lines from my little red book

All through my university days, and even while I worked, I had this little red book with a checked Scottish cover, in which I penned down quotes and poems I liked. I’d always had this thing for ‘words‘, and I still do. The quote, which formed part of a poem I’d saved, seemed an instant click with my battle of making the kids eat their veggies.
As they grow up, it’s becoming an uphill task. They are increasingly fussy about not eating their ‘greens‘, their vegetables and the outright ‘healthy’ stuff! The rebellion is quite strong, but Mum’s resolve is stronger, and we often find ourselves back at the bargaining table. No veggies = No dessert! Have now decided to make sure that the veggies get into them by gently coaxing them, and am on the look out for appealing and fun recipes!

Look no further shouted the gorgeous Ottolenghi cookbook … a cookbook which Hilda presented to me in London. It is my current firm favourite. I love Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s style of narrative, love the pictures, love the stories, love the way they credit the recipe when needed … and love the refreshing flavours they present. It’s a happy mix of cultures, of childhood influences, of sharing with each other, of evolving tastes, and yet at times, touching roots! Passionate book!

The chargrilled broccoli is one such interesting recipe from this beautiful book. It’s as simple as it is good looking. My kids enjoy eating food that looks good! Judge a book by the cover, or rather, a dish by it’s looks? Yes, fortunately or unfortunately, that is what they do! So the chargrilling ensured half the battle won. The flavours of garlic won the rest, and now I don’t have to cajole them into finishing the broccoli. Least expected to see this mountain move, but they will eat about 6-8 florets happily. Then the adults fight to finish the rest of this finger licking good salad!
My only addition to the recipe is a squeeze of lime juice to the garlic & oil as I enjoy the twang of citrus! The good thing about this salad is that you just need to blanch the broccoli for ONLY 2 MINUTES, and then leave it to drain. I do this much earlier, and then chargrill it just before serving. On a hot grill this takes just 5-7 minutes, and offers a fun and flavourful addition to the table. As the authors say, “In all honesty, broccoli is a boring vegetable and you need a magic touch to bring it to life.”

This magic is en route to Sudeshna of Cook Like A Bong who is the guest host for this months Monthly Mingle. She has chosen a great seasonal theme for the new year – Winter Vegetables and Fruit, and this fits in perfectly with my Ten in 10 plans!!

Chargrilled Broccoli with Chilli and Garlic
Minimally adapted from Ottolenghi – the Cookbook
About 500gms of broccoli, broken into florets
4tbsp olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Bring a large saucepan of mildly salted water to a boil, and blanch the florets for only 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and quickly transfer to a bowl of ice cold water to stop cooking. Drain and allow to dry completely.
Toss with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Season with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Heat a grill pan till extremely hot. Grill the broccoli for a few minutes till they get chargrill marks, turn over and repeat for the other side. Don’t cramp the pan, and do it in several batches if need be.
In a small pan, heat the remaining olive oil with the garlic and chillies, and keep over medium hat until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Take off heat, add juice of 1 lime.
Pour the flavoured oil over the hot broccoli and toss together well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: You can garnish it with toasted flaked almonds or thinly sliced lime just before serving, if you like.
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

Don’t miss a post

The following two tabs change content below.
About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. The Cooking Ninja says:

    Ooh…my favourite vegetable since young. :) I love it crunchy and stir fried Chinese style. But your method looks truly delicious. Thanks for sharing. Now I have another way to cook brocoli.

  2. meeso says:

    Broccoli salads are the best! Looks so delicious and tempting :)

  3. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    That is a perfect combo! So tasty!



  4. Sathya Sankar says:

    Delicious Broccoli, looks tempting !

  5. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    A great contribution to the Monthly Mingle! I adore broccoli and I love how you've presented it with the Ottolenghi ribbon for the pictures! We have vegetable battles in my house but I console myself that he will eat peas and mushrooms and makes up for it with his love of fruit.

  6. Snooky doodle says:

    good ! I ve just bought some broccoli :) this recipe looks so good. I m trying it :)

  7. oneshotbeyond says:

    That's the most beautiful broccoli ever!

  8. bethany says:

    I do love the ottolenghi cookbook… next time you're here we should go in…delish food. This is perfect to get all those veggies in and back on the healthy track for 2010.

  9. noble pig says:

    Okay this is way better than just steaming it!

  10. Johanna GGG says:

    must try this – I love broccoli any way but still waiting for my little one to develop a taste. I hated it when I was young but I still find it unbelieveable to have it described as a boring vegetable – that guy must have never met a turnip

  11. Su-yin says:

    I always 'pan sear' my broccoli the Heston way, and have not cooked it any other way in a long time. Will have to try it this way too, and am sure I will like it as it's very similar. :)

    I love how green and fresh your photos are as well! x

  12. Trissa says:

    I love your quote! I was a veggie hater as a child and then one day it just clicked – prepared the right way, they are delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  13. Rajani says:

    very neat!

  14. Dharm says:

    Fortunately the kids dont have an issue with the veges. This looks really good and so simple too! Certainly something that I would love!

  15. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    I'm a broccoli fiend and I just NEED to make this dish Deeba! As always you find the best recipes! 😀 Are you reading my mind? 😛

  16. Bellini Valli says:

    You would even get me to eat broccoli with this salad Deeba since it is not high on my list…call me miss fussypants:D

  17. pigpigscorner says:

    I'm one of those veg-hater kids =P I used to not touch veg at all and now I just eat for the sake of eating and my hubs forces me to. I eat fruits though =P

  18. Natashya KitchenPuppies says:

    Sounds like a great book! I love this way of doing broccoli – it is my daughter's favourite veggie. I'll give it a try next time she comes for dinner. Thanks!

  19. MeetaK says:

    yup i am loving the cookbook too! thanks to hilda! looks simply delish – luckily right now soeren is not a fussy eater. sometimes i will coax him but on the whole i am lucky. love the pics!

  20. Wow Deeba, I love the idea of chargrill the broccoli. My family, odd enough really like broccoli, but I never thought of cooking it this way.

  21. Barbara Bakes says:

    I have some boring broccoli in the fridge just waiting to be turned into this delicious dish! Thanks!

  22. Joanna says:

    That looks amazing! Yum!

  23. Happy cook says:

    Here it is always argument for veg. mine don't touch them. Only veg she eats it carrot and peas and i think i can count them in one hand.
    I have stopped grumbling about.
    I am sure the lime juice sure enhanced the taste to the dish.

  24. Muneeba says:

    I'm one of those people who was introduced to broccoli late in life, but has grown to really like it! I think this is a great new way to enjoy it!!

  25. Michelle says:

    I am so loving lime lately! And a squeeze of lime sounds like the perfect touch!

  26. Elenka says:

    No veggies, no dessert simply ended up no dessert. Sigh….

  27. bake in paris says:

    Deeba, from the look of it, I don't mind finishing the whole plate :-) Photos are stunning…

    Have you tried frying broccoli with garlic and oyster sauce! It is fabulous!!

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  28. Olive ♥ says:

    I love chilli, I will definitely try this next time I have broccoli..yum! ☻

  29. Happy 2010 to you and your's Deeba.

    YUM! Love Broccoli stir fry, looks delish.

  30. i love how colorfully green this looks!

  31. Jamie says:

    I LOVE broccoli and I must make this although no one, not even JP, will eat broccoli! Yay for your kids! This does look like a wonderful recipe!

  32. My favourite vegetable and my favourite cook book, I might have to make this again soon.

  33. Yummy. Beautiful photos Deeba! I like the fresh green colour of the broccoli.

  34. Jeanne @ Cooksister! says:

    I've always loved broccoli so probably wouldn't agree with the statement in the cookbook about it being a boring vegetable… but I do agree that this recipe looks totally delectable!

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge