This Charred Broccoli side dish is delicious and simple to make, with flavors like fresh lemon, toasted pine nuts, tangy pecorino cheese, and fresh basil.
2lbsbroccoli florets(3 small heads)
5tbspextra virgin olive oil*
zest of 1 lemon
2tbspfresh lemon juice
1/4cupgrated pecorino romano cheeseplus another (optional) tablespoon for garnish
10large fresh basil leaveschopped or cut into chiffonade
1/4tspfreshly ground black pepper
Preheat broiler to high**, then spread the broccoli florets evenly on a sheet pan. Make sure you only have one single layer of broccoli.
Char the broccoli under the broiler, turning the broccoli every 5 minutes or so, until the edges of the broccoli are dark, but the stalks are still crisp tender. This should take about 15 minutes total, depending on the heat power of your broiler.
Place the charred broccoli in a large mixing bowl, then add the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, basil, salt, and pepper.
Toss well to combine, then taste to see if any additional salt or seasoning is needed.
Serve the broccoli with extra pecorino romano cheese sprinkled on top. Enjoy!
*Many "extra virgin olive oils" are fake. Make sure to use a really good one here that has great flavor, it's essential for the flavor of the dish. I like California Olive Ranch, and the Greek Kalamata from TJ's is also excellent.**Alternatively, you can 1) roast the broccoli in a 450 or even 500 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes, watching closely until the florets are dark on the edges, and the stalks are crisp tender. You just have to be careful not to dry out the broccoli/overcook. Or 2) grill the broccoli for about 10-15 minutes, until the florets have a nice char on the edges but aren't overcooked.