Rock the broc!
You’re going to love this one, so simple and loaded with flavours; spicy piri piri, garlic, tamari, some toasted, crunchy pumpkin seeds, finished with a squeeze of lemon and mayo.
So good! The kind of dish we want to just tear into with our fingers
This dish takes 10 minutes and brings out all the amazing flavours of broccoli, with that fiery piri piri and garlic oil and the smoky-ness you get from flash frying the broccoli and then quickly steaming, to get the perfect balance of crunch. Broccoli is a bit like pasta really (kind of) in that you want that al dente-ness. Basically, cooked right.
What do you do with a whole crown of broccoli? Here’s the answer.
I know that it’s daunting for some, with memories of squidgy, water logged broccoli from days gone by. But this will get anyone into broccoli in a big way.
Add a salad and some nice wholegrains, maybe some warm flatbreads and this dish makes for a great lunch. Also nice just as it is, a proper vegan tapas or starter.
Piri-piri (peri-peri, peli-peli, it goes by many names…but means ‘pepper’) is actually a variety of chilli from West Africa. A bird’s eye chilli, I love that name, which packs a punch. Piri-piri is the Portugese name for it, they went over to Mozambique and loved chillies so much, they started to produce their own. The piri-piri craze in Europe was born. So, piri-piri or peri-peri? They both taste the same. They both work!
You only need a few ingredients and a bit of know how to take veggies to the next level!
You’ll notice these are nicely charred in a very hot pan. You don’t need to take it quite so far if you don’t want to. Lightly charred is also cool. Remember that when you flip the broccoli steaks over, they’re vibrant green, so there’s a great balance of the smoky charred side with the steamed, crisp green side.
This piri-piri and garlic oil with be amazing on any veggies really. It will keep in the fridge covered for a few days, so make double the quantity and enjoy liberally, at leisure, loving those flavours.
This one’s fun, an ideal weekender. Squeeze your lemon on top and grab a pot of mayo, then tear into these with your hands, ripping bits off the steaks and dipping in the mayo. We did!
When cutting the broccoli, take off the woody base, normally about an inch. Then cut through the large florets, slicing them in half, this keeps the broccoli together and helps it keep shape in the pan.
Piri piri seasoning is not ground, it’s got bits of chilli and herbs in there. Recipes for piri piri vary and we like it with a good kick of chilli, paprika and plenty of herbs like oregano, sometimes tarragon and bay leaves, maybe some lemon peel thrown in. It’s a mighty mixed bag. I normally make my own, that way you can control you’re favourite flavours and make them sing. I’ve got a recipe kickin around somewhere……
Get all your prep ready, this dish cooks quickly. Also, get nicely ventilated, the charred chillies in this dish are cheeky, tickling the lungs and nose.
You can also cook these on a BBQ, it’s so sunny in Wales at the minute, we could probably crack the BBQ out.
Charred Piri-Piri Broccoli Steaks with Garlic, Pepitas and Lemon – Vegan
The Bits – For 4 steaks
1 large head broccoli (trim base, but into quarters)
Piri-piri and Garlic Oil
1 1/2 – 2 tbs cold pressed rapeseed oil (or whatever you fry with)
1/2 tbs piri piri seasoning
3 large garlic cloves (crushed)
1/2 tbs tamari/ good soya sauce
2 tbs pumpkin seeds/ pepitas (chopped and toasted)
Get a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan and lid (or something lid-like, a large plate, that covers the pan). Put the pan over a high heat.
Mix your oil ingredients together in a small bowl and cover the broccoli steaks with them. Get them all nicely coated, rubbing the oil in with your hands.
Once the pan is nicely hot, place the broccoli steaks in, one side at a time. You should get a nice searing sound once they sit on the pan.
Cook one flat side for 2-3 mins, with the lid on them, then flip onto the other side. The lid will help to press them onto the pan, getting them nicely charred.
Once you’re happy with the charring, add the water to the pan and quickly pop the lid on. Cook for a 2 minutes more, until when you squeeze the stems, there is a little give, slightly softened.
Serve straight away, on a warm platter. Sprinkled over the pumpkin seeds and a little sea salt, with lemon wedges and mayonnaise. A pile/ stack is nice, height looks good in food!
As we all know, Broccoli is a rock and roll star. It also happens to be one of the healthiest things we could ever wish to eat. Piled high with good stuff like loads of protein and fibre, also vitamin C, iron and a whole raft of anti-oxidants.
Live long and prosper
Here’s all our BHK recipes in one neat bundle