Broiled Broccoli with Spicy, Sesame-Scallion Sizzle
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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.