Char-Grilled Broccoli with Red Pepper, Garlic and Almonds

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This broccoli salad/side dish is a signature dish at Ottolenghi. It comes to Ottolenghi from a Tel Aviv restaurant where Sami Tamimi used to work. The original recipe called for mild chili peppers, which I couldn’t find, so I used red bell peppers and sprinkled over a little hot sauce.

 

Char-Grilled Broccoli with Red Pepper, Garlic and Almonds
Adapted from a recipe in Ottolenghi the Cookbook (go here for the original recipe). I changed the recipe around just a bit, replacing the mild chili peppers with a red bell pepper and a little hot sauce and reducing the amount of garlic. Also, I didn’t measure the amounts of oil, salt, pepper, or almonds–see the linked to original recipe if you need precise amounts (but I didn’t use those measurements). The recipe came to Ottolenghi from Lilith (also known as Liliyot) Restaurant in Tel Aviv, where Ottolenghi chef Sami Tamimi used to work. It is now one of Ottolengi’s signature dishes.

1 lb. broccoli, cut into florets
olive oil
salt, pepper, to taste
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin rings (original recipe called for 2 mild chilies)
hot sauce, to taste (this is to add a little heat to the red bell pepper because I didn’t have the mild chilies)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (original recipe called for 4 cloves)
handful sliced almonds

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Drop the broccoli into the boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes, or until the broccoli is bright green and tender. Immediately drain the broccoli and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Toss the broccoli with a little olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Set the broccoli aside.

In a large pot or frying pan, heat oil and saute the red pepper and garlic until the pepper is softened. Keep stirring to prevent the garlic from burning. Add a little hot sauce to taste to add some heat to the red pepper. Add the sliced almonds and keep tossing around until the almonds brown a little. They will turn a little orange from the oil which will get reddish from the red bell pepper. You can also toast the almonds separately and add them at the last minutes. Season with salt. Set aside while you grill the broccoli.

Grill the broccoli in a hot grill pan until charred a little. I didn’t have a grill pan, so I used a George Foreman Grill, which didn’t sear it that well. I think roasting in the oven might be a better alternative to the grill pan. You could also skip this step because the broccoli has plenty of flavor from the rest of the ingredients, although then of course the broccoli wouldn’t be “charred broccoli.”

Toss everything together. Can garnish with some sliced lemon. Serve warm or room temperature.

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