Charred purple sprouting broccoli with ‘nduja, kale pesto and crackling crumb
- July 2023
- Charlie Buchanan-Smith
- Hands-on time 45 min
This dish from The Free Company restaurant near Edinburgh makes a cracking starter or side dish. Charred broccoli is elevated by the umami sweetness of the ’nduja dressing.
Recipe by Charlie Buchanan-Smith of The Free Company
If you’ve got some ‘nduja leftover, check out more ‘nduja recipes.
- 38g (4.2g saturated)
- 6.2g (4.2g sugars)
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar, plus extra to season
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 200g purple sprouting broccoli
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 150ml rapeseed oil, plus 2 tbsp and a little for toasting
- 200g kale (we use red russian or cavolo nero)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 30g pork crackling
- 30g ’nduja
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp honey
- 100g mustard leaves/greens
- In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp vinegar with the sugar and 1 tbsp water. Stir in the mustard seeds and set aside to quick-pickle while you prepare everything else.
- Lightly steam the purple sprouting broccoli for a couple of minutes until just slightly tender but very much maintaining its firmness. This will just help it cook evenly on the grill. Set aside.
- For the pesto, toast the pumpkin seeds in a pan with some salt and a little oil until they are browned and starting to sing and pop a little. Pop them in a blender with the kale and garlic and begin to blend. Add the 150ml oil gradually until broken down into a consistency you’re happy with. Taste and season, adding some vinegar until you have a bright, punchy pesto (you can also add a hard cheese like pecorino or parmesan if you wish).
- For the crumb, toast the fennel and coriander seeds in a dry pan until fragrant, then tip into a small food processor or blender with the pork crackling and whizz to a coarse powder. Season with salt flakes.
- Char the purple sprouting broccoli on a barbecue or under a hot grill for a minute or two on each side. Be careful not to overcook it as you still want that crunchy freshness with the outside lightly charred.
- Meanwhile, put a small pan over a medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp oil and the ’nduja (if you’re cooking the broccoli on a barbecue you could also make the dressing in a pan on the grill). Once the ’nduja has warmed through and broken down, remove from the heat and whisk in 2 tbsp vinegar, the mustard and honey until emulsified in a dressing.
- To serve, spoon the pesto onto plates or a large platter. Top with the purple sprouting broccoli and fresh mustard leaves. Spoon over the mustard seeds and a good drizzle of the ’nduja dressing. Scatter over the crackling crumb.
Easy swaps: If you don’t have any leftover pork crackling, use toasted sunflower seeds instead. T
To make the dish vegetarian, use a spice paste such as harissa or a vegetarian alternative instead of the ’nduja (we like Belazu Ve-Du-Ya).
You can use other types of broccoli or even runner or broad beans. Swap the kale with chard, spinach or other leafy greens if that’s what you have.
The crackling crumb, pesto and pickled mustard seeds can all be made in advance when you have the ingredients to use up and kept in airtight containers for a few days. Store the crumb and pesto in the fridge and the pickled seeds at room temperature.
Pork crackling to snack on can be bought in bags from the supermarket – if you can’t find a bag that says crackling specifically, pork scratchings will also work (just remove any particularly soft pieces).
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