Dinner for a Time-Poor Christmas Shopper

I don’t have a great deal to write about this dish, and wasn’t even going to post it, but I fell in love with it so decided to share it with you.  This week has been a chaotic flurry of Christmas lunches, Christmas drinks and Christmas shopping and, sadly, meal planning has been put somewhat on the back burner.  The evening meal has either consisted of leftovers from the freezer or concoctions I can make from whatever I have in the cupboard or fridge.  Of course, throwing together ingredients and hoping for the best can have disastrous results, but sometimes they produce something so wholesomely perfect you wonder why you ever used cookery books at all.

This is a simple assembly of purple-sprouting broccoli, chargrilled to bring out the best of its nutty flavour, dressed in anchovies, chilli and garlic and sprinkled with pine nuts.  I stirred mine into a pan of cooked linguini with a healthy glug of olive oil, but it would work just as well as a side dish.

Chargrilled Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Anchovies, Chilli and Pine Nuts

  • 200g purple sprouting broccoli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts

Blanch the purple sprouting broccoli in boiling water for three minutes, then refresh under cold water to stop them cooking.  Shake the broccoli dry and place on a hot griddle.  Cook for a few minutes on each side until the broccoli is charred but still retains its firmness.

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan.  Add the anchovies and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the anchovies have broken down into the oil.  Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a couple of minutes more.  Do not let them burn.

Add the broccoli to the frying pan, along with the pine nuts, and toss in the anchovy, garlic and chilli mixture.