I guess broccoli isn't the first ingredient that springs to mind when considering 'things to go on my toast' but a friend of mine raved about this recipe, it's from the brilliant Thomasina Miers - a chef, writer and TV presenter who won MasterChef in 2005. Thomasina says..."The chilli oil is stunning and perfect for drizzling over broccoli, courgettes or any roasted vegetables". It sounded amazing and it's been on my mind to try it out. Last weekend we just happened to have most of the ingredients in the house, so I gave it a go. Oh my word... it didn't disappoint!
Our favourite new neighbours The Village Baking Co sourdough was the perfect partner for these amazing flavours, it gave crunch and texture to perfectly compliment the other ingredients. The chilli oil was, as promised by Thomasina and my friend, outrageously good. I would never have thought about adding sesame seeds into a homemade chilli oil, but it added a lovely extra flavour dimension and with all those intense umami flavours going on, Alice asked me whether there was any crispy bacon secretly hidden in the dish!
The key is in the toasted sesame seeds and the dried chillies, Thomasina suggests using Arbol Chillies, I actually used a mix of Chipotle Morita Chillies (for smokiness and heat), Guajillo and Cascabel Chilies for sweetness and complexity. I'm sure that ANY dried chillies would work well, but I would suggest that buying whole dried chillies would allow more flavour to infuse.
This dish makes the perfect weekend brunch, light supper or dinner party starter. The chilli oil will keep well in a jars for several weeks. It can be vegan if you omit the burrata cheese! You will love it.
Ingredients to serve 4
For the chilli oil
This will make enough for 4 with plenty to keep in a jar
200ml Fussels Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and squashed with the back of a knife
15g Toasted Sesame Seeds
1tsp Sea Salt
20g Dried Chillies (Mix of Chipotle Morita, Guajillo & Cascabel Chillies)
Pinch of Caster Sugar
200g Tender Stem Broccoli or Purple Sprouting Broccoli (if in season)
4 Slices of The Village Baking Co Sourdough
1 Pack Burrata, defrosted (preferably overnight)
A few Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
Butter for the toast
Oil for frying
1. If you remove the burrata cheese from it's packaging, it will defrost at room temperature in about 3 or 4 hours. If you have time, it's best to defrost it in the fridge overnight.
2. To make the chilli oil, remove the stalks and seeds from the dried chillies, rip them up into small pieces and place them in a small saucepan with the bashed up garlic cloves. Gently heat the oil for around 5 minutes, or until the garlic is beginning to go slightly golden - make sure you don't burn the garlic or your oil will become bitter. Turn the heat off and leave to sit for around 20 minutes.
3. Tip the chillies, garlic, sesame seeds, salt and sugar into a food processor, holding back some of the oil. Blitz up the main ingredients so you have a coarse paste. Add in the rest of the oil and wizz it up again to incorporate everything. Transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid.
4. Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat, add a couple of tablespoons of regular oil (not your chilli oil) and fry the broccoli for a few minutes. Once the broccoli has developed a little colour, add a small glass of water to create some steam in the pan. This will cook the broccoli through without washing away the flavour in gallons of water. I like my broccoli slightly 'al dente', but cook it to your liking.
5. Toast the slices of sourdough and slice up a few cherry tomatoes.
6. To plate up, butter the toasted sourdough, pile on some broccoli, rip over some of the burrata, scatter a few cherry tomatoes around the plate and drizzle over plenty of the heavenly chilli oil.
Enjoy! And foodies don't forget to tag us on Facebook or Instagram if you cook this really amazing recipe at home...
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I keep reaching for our delicious Pickled Lemon Paste. It's intense lemon flavour provides a great lift to so many dishes whether it's a stew, sauce, dressing or marinade. This little salad is really quick and simple to prepare. The liquorice flavour of fennel is perfectly suited to carrying strong flavours...
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