Broccoli Is The New Black.
BURNT BROCCOLI, GREEN OLIVE AND GORGONZOLA ON GRILLED SOURDOUGH
If you’ve ever been trapped in an Italian kitchen full of aunties, you’ll know what I mean by ‘everyone is talking and no one is listening’. Which may be the best way to describe the eccentric family of flavours in today’s brunch time / lunch time tartine.
Under normal circumstances I would say that you need both talking flavours and listening flavours to keep your dish in balance. Every once in a while though, the mismatch becomes the perfect formula for deliciousness. This open sandwich, or grill, or toast, or whatever you want to call it, is packed full of big tastes and textures which all challenge each other in just the right way. It’s broccoli, gorgonzola, olives, chilli, dukkah all fighting it out to get your attention.
It has all the excitement of a World Cup final in a penalty shootout.
Even better, this one is can be easily vegetarian. Just switch out the gorgonzola for your favourite vegetarian blue cheese (a vegetarian Stilton will do the trick), and you’ll be left with that warm glowy feeling like you’ve just saved a rainforest.
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- 1 cup of broccoli florets ( cut small )
- 10 large green olives (seeds removed and coarsely chopped)
- 10 toasted almonds (crushed)
- 20g gorgonzola cheese
- 5 tbsp greek yoghurt
- Zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon grain mustard
- Small piece of fresh chilli (seeds removed and finely chopped)
- 1/2 clove of garlic (grated)
- 1 teaspoon dukkah
- 1/2 a lemon for dressing/squeezing
- 3 or 4 basil leaves (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1. Mix the yoghurt, grated garlic, basil, dijon mustard, salt and lemon juice together. Balance all flavours to taste. Keep aside.
- 2. Toast the bread. If you’re doing it in a griddle pan, brush a thin layer of olive oil onto the bread first before putting it on the hot griddle. If you’re toasting the bread in other ways, you can do it after, or skip the oil altogether.
- 3. Mix the chopped olives, chilli and lemon zest with a teaspoon of olive oil, and set aside.
- 4. Get your fry pan very hot and throw in the broccoli florets with a teaspoon of olive oil. You want them to burn a little and get some dark spots.
- 5. When they have some colour, pour in a tablespoon of water and quickly put on a lid to steam them for around about 30 seconds. Take them out of the pan when they have an rich emerald green colour, so they don’t overcook.
- 6. Spread a tablespoon or two of the yoghurt onto the grilled sourdough. Top with green olive mix.
- 7. Arrange broccoli on top and sprinkle with crumbled gorgonzola and crushed almonds.
- 8. Squeeze over lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of dukkah.
- I find that olives with the seeds still in have a much better taste than deseeded olives. (Deseeded always taste a bit too briny and vinegary). It's worth the hassle to do it yourself.
- I like the griddle pan for toasting because it gives you a little of the charred smokiness on the bread without cooking it too much. (Personal preference of course)
- Sourdough works well for this because it's strong enough to hold up and keep it's crunchy and chewy texture without getting soggy.
- I used Gorgonzola Piccante for this recipe and I like the strong bite that it brings. You can choose a more mild kind, but you may need to adjust the balance of flavour to suit your taste.
READ ON FOR PICS AND TIPS
‘FOR THE FOOD NERDS’
This is one of those dishes that are all about balance. It’s a good one to practice on for harmonising your flavours and using your tongue to guide you rather than the recipe.
There’s a lot of strong flavours here (gorgonzola, greek yoghurt, olives, lemon zest, chilli, dukkah), all fighting for centre stage. None of them should take over, but they should all bring some excitement.
Salt, for this dish, is going to be layered through all the different components, so go easy with it. The olives, gorgonzola, and dukkah all bring saltiness already so you may not need any at all. I only use a pinch of salt in the yoghurt to bring the other flavours to life. If you still think it needs some at the end, I would sprinkle with something like Maldon salt flakes.
Go with a greek yoghurt that has a bit of a bite to it rather than soft creamy flavour. That sourness, along with the lemon juice, are keys to keeping the flavours bright and upbeat. Dairy often has a way of dulling intense flavours, but also has a way of unifying a lot of random flavours, as it does here. I used the dijon and lemon juice to make sure the yoghurt stays sharp and refreshing while still pulling everything together.
I chose gorgonzola piccante for this recipe as I wanted that extra sharp and spicy flavour. We already have a softer dairy component in the yoghurt (even though it still has a sourness to it) so there’s no need for a creamy blue cheese as well.
The combination of the chilli and lemon zest will cut through all the intense flavours and keep your palate refreshed and awake right until the end.
And if it’s still not enough, feel free to throw in an anchovy or two as well if you dare. It’ll turn into quite the party.