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Barbecued Broccoli with Zucchini, Chilli & Feta

Dani VennVeggie

Following in the footsteps of last weeks recipe, I’m sharing with you a delightful dish that came about on a whim after thinking I had nothing in the fridge to accompany my roast chicken dinner. But this is when the magic happens for me! I’m a firm believer that restriction and limitation increases creativity and too much choice overwhelms.

So I started by frying up some zucchini and broccoli on my griddle pan and fossicked around for other leftovers in the fridge and surprisingly it turned out to be a winner! I had always wanted to try grilling or barbecuing broccoli but had never done it before. This seems bizarre now as it’s such an amazing way of cooking it and is super simple.

Broccoli sometimes gets a bad wrap as it is often cooked to the point where it looses its lush vibrant green colour until it turns ghastly brown and soggy. Broccoli should always retain a little crunch and be emerald green when cooked. As soon as it starts to become dull, quickly take it off the heat and refresh in cold running water or an ice bath.

This rule only changes slightly when cooking for really small children, as it can be difficult for kids to eat broccoli if it’s too hard. When I make broccoli for my kids, I steam it so it’s a little less crunchy but still nice and green then douse it in a butter when its done. Real butter, none of that spreadable pseudo butter that most people buy. (Side note: Buy a stick of real butter that’s wrapped in paper and keep it on the bench rather then in the fridge then you have spreadable real butter!)

This dish is great as an accompaniment to a roast chook (like my Fennel and Lemon Brined Roast Chicken), but also stands strong as a salad on it’s own. It’s loaded with greens and good fats from the feta. You can easily make this vegan by using vegan feta instead. If you haven’t tried grilling or barbecuing broccoli before, why not give it a go as it takes this humble vegetable to new, caramelised heights.

PS: I’ll be making this dish and my favourite simple salads to add to your cooking repertoire next weekend 16 – 17 March at the Herb and Chilli Festival in the Yarra Valley. I’ll be there both days heading up the Cooking Stage along with a host of other great cooks. Come on down for a sensory feast!

grilled barbecued broccoli
Perfectly grilled broccoli – still brilliant green with lovely charred marks.
grilled broccoli salad

Barbecued Broccoli with Zucchini, Chilli and Fetta

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 zucchini, sliced

1 large head of broccoli, sliced into small florets

 ¼ cup Melrose Health Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 red chillies, thinly sliced

3 spring onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup fresh dill, roughly chopped

80g fetta cheese, crumbled  

1 lemon, juiced

Salt flakes, to season

Method

Drizzle zucchini and broccoli in a few tablespoons of olive oil so that the produce is lightly coated, then sprinkle with salt flakes.

Heat a BBQ or griddle pan to medium – high heat. If you don’t have either of these, you can also use a fry pan. When hot, add zucchini and cook until golden on each side. Then cook broccoli, you are looking to achieve for a nice brilliant green colour and crispy charred marks. Remove from BBQ and set aside.

When you are ready to serve, place zucchini on serving platter. Add broccoli to a large mixing bowl, add in chillies, spring onion, dill and a little of the feta. Remember to always reserve a little of each ingredient to save for garnishing.

Add lemon juice, the remainder of the olive oil and salt and toss well to combine. Add the broccoli on top of the zucchini and top with the reserved ingredients to finish the salad. I always like to add a finishing ‘gleam’ to the salad so drizzle over a little extra olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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