This is one of the nicest ways – no, forget that – it’s THE nicest way I have ever come across of eating broccoli. Sauce Gribiche is a creamy French dressing, made by emulsifying cooked egg yolk with oil, vinegar and mustard, and adding capers, chopped eggs and herbs. My sauce isn’t a Gribiche exactly, more Gribiche inspired. Despite the fact that I love capers, and almost always have them in, on the occasion I made this dish, I didn’t have them so I omitted them. Definitely add capers if you like, as I will next time.
Roasting broccoli makes it tender and charred, and it completely changes the experience of eating it. I have roasted it before with chorizo and cod – and this is just as good, if not better. I implore you to try this way of cooking broccoli, especially if you’re not fussed about it normally. My son isn’t a massive fan, and when I started pinching florets off his plate after I’d hoovered my own portion up, he told me off! Such was his enjoyment of his own dinner. I never thought I’d see that day – squabbling with a toddler over vegetables! I added anchovies but you could leave them out if you’re not keen. My son isn’t. He spat one out, saying “Yuk! What was THAT!?” Ah well, you can’t win them all…
This doesn’t just work with roasted broccoli: we tried it a couple of days later with all the bits and bobs of vegetables we had in the bottom the fridge: we roasted fennel, green beans – and again with a few bits of broccoli and a handful potatoes – as well as tossing in a handful of cold puy lentils that were leftover, and it was even better than the first time (see pic, right). I wanted to post the first recipe though, as its simplicity is what makes it attractive. You could roast your vegetables ahead of time, then dress just before serving, enjoying it cold on a warm day.
The original inspiration for this recipe is taken from Heidi Swanson’s Broccoli Gribiche, in her book Super Natural Every Day, which is fantastic if you want inspiration for healthy midweek suppers – packed with new ideas. Recommend it big time.
Serves: 4 people
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 47 minutes
About 750g – 1kg of small new potatoes, any large ones cut in half so they are all the same size
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets, stalks too (try to cut them into fairly slim pieces, all roughly the same size so they cook at the same rate)
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 eggs, hard boiled then halved
1 tablespoon of fresh chives, chopped fairly finely
Salted anchovies, in oil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Toss your new potatoes in olive oil (halve if they’re big) and a little salt, and set to roast.
- After about 30 minutes, or when they aren’t far off being done, add your broccoli florets, toss them about in the oil, and roast for anything for about 15 minutes. You want them to be tender and charred slightly.
- Meanwhile, as your potatoes and broccoli are roasting, boil your eggs for 7 minutes exactly (bring large pan of water to boil and add room temperature eggs when water is boiling). Then plunge them into cold water for a few minutes. Peel them all, halving one, removing the yolk and setting to one side. Chop the rest into halves or quarters.
- Mash the yolk and a little oil into a large-ish bowl until it’s fairly smooth – you could use a pestle and mortar for this. Then, very slowly, dribble the oil into the bowl, whisking all the time. You are looking for a smooth emulsion. If it’s a little grainy don’t worry though, mine was and it worked out fine. Add your vinegar, mustard and herbs and whisk. Taste and season accordingly.
- When your veggies are nicely roasted, take out and dress with the emulsion, then gently toss with the eggs.
- Serve and marvel that broccoli could ever taste this good!