Roasted broccoli with romesco & feta

I once had an epic sandwich at the Dusty Knuckle (my fav sandwich spot in London), which combined roasted broccoli, romesco and feta in their fluffy focaccia. It was heavenly.

I find that the combination of the sweet but slightly acidic, garlicky and slightly smoky red pepper romesco sauce pairs beautifully with salty feta and charred broccoli, so it’s something I now eat together a lot.

This recipe doesn’t make loads but is very easily doubled. But with these quantities, here’s what I like to do with it..

Serving suggestions:

  1. Have as it is for a light lunch (or with bread to mop up the romesco)
  2. Serve as a side (double if cooking for four) – it’s great with a roast or accompaniment to white fish (with or without the feta)
  3. Use in a sandwich à la Dusty Knuckle by slathering the romesco sauce onto focaccia, then adding the roasted broccoli, feta and some toasted almonds – DELICIOUS.
  4. Make it into more of a substantial salad by tossing the broccoli with a cooked grain like cous-cous or quinoa (adding an extra squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil), then dot the romesco, almonds and feta over the top to finish

Roasted broccoli with romesco & feta

Serves 2 (see intro for serving details)

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15-20 mins (plus 30 mins if roasting the red peppers yourself)

200g-250g Tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli
olive oil
¼ tsp chilli flakes

For the romesco:
1 large roasted red pepper (or 2 from a jar – around 100-130g)
50g blanched almonds (walnuts, hazelnuts or a mix will all work fine)
½ garlic clove, roughly chopped
¼ tsp smoked paprika
½ tbsp sherry vinegar
30 ml olive oil

To serve:
1/2 lemon
approx 30g feta

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180c fan/200c. Chop the broccoli stalks roughly in half, chuck into a roasting tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 mins ((check after 15), until the stalks are tender and some of the leaves and florets are starting to crisp up.
  2. In a small frying pan, toast the nuts on a medium-high heat for a few minutes until browned. Roughly chop them and set a handful aside for later. The majority are for the romesco sauce.
  3. To make the romesco, blitz the roasted red pepper, toasted nuts, garlic, smoked paprika and sherry vinegar with salt and pepper in a mini chopper, food processor or bullet-blender. Then slowly add the olive oil, until you have the consistency of a loose dip. Taste and season/adjust accordingly (you may want a splash more sherry vinegar if you like it more acidic).
  4. Remove the broccoli from the oven and squeeze over some lemon juice (about 1/4 of a lemon).
  5. To serve as a side or main by itself, spread the romesco sauce around a plate or serving dish, then add the roasted broccoli, a handful of chopped toasted nuts and crumble over some feta. For more serving suggestions, see the intro.

HOW TO ROAST RED PEPPERS

While jarred roasted red peppers work just fine in romseco sauce, I prefer the flavour you get from roasting your own. Here’s how to do it:

Cut a large red pepper in half and place, cut side down, on a baking tray or in a roasting tin.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast in a preheated oven (200c fan/220c) for around half an hour, or until completely softened and blackening in places.

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