Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Heston Bumenthal's wicked broccoli

Image from

This recipe is going to change the way you feel about broccoli FOREVER, and I don't make that claim lightly.

(It'll probably also change the way you feel about Heston Blumenthal, because he's not exactly known for his simple home cooking.)

It's so easy it's hardly even a recipe (as Luisa of The Wednesday Chef, from whose blog I shamelessly stole the image above, pointed out), but the results are so gobsmackingly delicious, you'll wonder where broccoli's been hiding all that extra flavour.
The cooking method has to be followed meticulously, but there's nothing to it really — you just need a 2-minute timer (the whole shebang takes a grand total of 4 minutes, 5 max), and to not be squeamish about frying at a very high heat. With butter.

I've emailed this to a bunch of people, and the invariable response has been dumbfounded delight.

So, without further ado...

Heston Bumenthal's broccoli

1 head of broccoli, washed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter

Cut the florets off the head of broccoli to roughly the same size. Peel the stalk of broccoli if you want, and slice it into 1/4-1/2 inch thick coins. Put a few tablespoons of olive oil into a heavy pan (like a cast iron frying pan), and put it on high heat until the oil is quite hot and almost smoking. Dump the broccoli into the pan all at once and cover it quickly with a lid. Cook for 2 minutes, don't lift the lid (no peeking). Take the lid off, season the broccoli with salt and pepper, shake the pan to move the broccoli around, add about a tablespoon of butter, re-cover and cook for 2 more minutes on high. Check the broccoli to see if it's done (it should be cooked — partially scorched, partially green). If it isn't ready, cover the pan and cook for about 2 more minutes.

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