Spicy broiled broccoli with sesame-scallion oil on a plate.

Last summer, this spicy green bean recipe opened my eyes to the wonderful world of blistered string beans, reminding me, too, that harnessing the power of a few heavy-hitting ingredients — capers, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes — can pay off big: super-flavorful vegetables in no time.

It also reminded me of maybe the most neglected tool in my kitchen: my broiler!

In the winter, I get in such a routine of roasting sheet pan after sheet pan of vegetables for what seems like forever. But in a fraction of the time, the broiler can do similar work. The flavor of broiled vegetables is not the same as roasted — i.e., they don’t taste caramelized — but broiled vegetables are cooked nonetheless and, in some instances, cooked better.

Take for instance broccoli. What I love about a broiled broccoli spear is that its florets char, while its stems remain vibrant, brilliant green in hue with a nice al dente texture, a feat achieved in 5 to 6 minutes total.

Seasoned merely with olive oil and salt, this broccoli is delicious on its own straight from the broiler, but upon being hit with a sauce, an infusion really, made from both coconut and sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, scallions, and chili paste (Sambal Oelek or Sriracha), it becomes truly irresistible.

As with the green beans, I could eat this whole platter of broccoli alone, but when I feel like sharing, I’ll tuck them aside this warm tofu with spicy sesame scallion sauce (see below) or this broiled ginger-soy salmon, or I’ll heap them onto a scoop of this Instant Pot brown rice, crack a poached egg over top, and call dinner done.

PS: Roasted broccoli is also delicious. As is pan-seared.

A board with chopped broccoli aside the condiments to make spicy broiled broccoli.
Here’s the play-by-play: Cut broccoli into spears.
Chopped broccoli on a board.
Cut larger spears in half again or into quarters.
A sheet pan lined with foil topped with cut broccoli tossed with oil and salt.
Transfer to a foil lined sheet pan and toss with olive oil and salt.
Broiled broccoli on a sheet pan.
Broil for 5 to 7 minutes total, flipping the spears over halfway.
Broiled broccoli on a plate.
Transfer broiled broccoli to a serving platter.
Ingredients for the spicy sesame-scallion oil.
Meanwhile: slowly heat together a tablespoon each of sesame oil, coconut oil, soy sauce, Sambal Oelek (or other hot sauce), and sesame seeds. Add 4 thinly sliced scallions.
Sauce for the spicy broiled broccoli simmering in a small skillet.
In the time it takes for the broccoli to broil, this flavorful oil will be done.
Spicy broiled broccoli with sesame-scallion oil on a plate.
Pour the sauce over the broccoli.
Spicy broiled broccoli with sesame-scallion oil on a plate.
Serve immediately or at room temperature.
A bowl of tofu with spicy sesame scallion sauce aside spicy broiled broccoli.
I’ve been loving it aside this warm tofu with spicy dipping sauce, an oldie but such a goodie.