Roasted broccoli with hazelnut, tomato sauce and tahini


First published in 2019
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A hot oven is our secret weapon when it comes to broccoli. Not only is it marginally easier than boiling the kettle, it also results in much tastier greens – the edges start to crisp up and caramelise, and the stalk keeps a fresh crunch that is lost when you boil it.

When you're making the tomato sauce, don't be afraid to invest time at the very beginning. Sweating the mirepoix is when you build the foundation of a good sauce – the longer you spend gradually breaking down the vegetables and caramelising the sugars, the better your sauce is going to taste in the long run; that said, you can knock it out in 45 minutes if you need to! Also, two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar might seem like a paltry addition, but it makes a huge difference – the sugars in the vinegar caramelise and sweeten the sauce as it cooks, which really balances the whole dish.




Tomato sauce

Tahini dressing


Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Start by preparing your tomato sauce – pour a splash of oil into a saucepan and sweat your diced onion, celery and carrot over a medium heat with a good pinch of salt for around 20 minutes. Stir every now and then, you want the vegetables to be soft and caramelised, no burnt bits!
Meanwhile, pop 5 cloves of garlic (skin on) in the oven with your hazelnuts. Roast the two together until the the garlic is soft and the hazelnuts are golden brown and shiny – the former should take about 15 minutes, and the latter between 5-10 minutes. Set them aside separately when they're ready, and turn your oven up to 220°C
Add tomato purée to your sweated vegetables and cook it out for a minute, then all but one clove of the roasted garlic (skin removed), tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and vegetable stock. Give the sauce a stir, bring to the boil then put a lid on the pan and simmer for 30 minutes – feel free to take the lid off after if the sauce needs to reduce a bit more
Peel the stalk of your broccoli and remove the woody bottom, but keep as much of the stalk as possible. Now cut your broccoli into long florets, and toss these in olive oil, salt and pepper. Tip the florets into a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until the florets start to turn golden and crispy
To make the tahini dressing, mix the tahini and lemon juice with the remaining clove of roasted garlic and a pinch of salt. The mix will go very thick when the lemon and tahini mix, just loosen gently with water until you have a nice drizzling consistency, and season with more salt, lemon juice and white pepper to taste
To serve, ladle the tomato sauce into the bottom of a shallow bowl, and top with a generous bundle of roasted broccoli florets. Top with crushed hazelnuts and a good drizzle of tahini dressing
First published in 2019
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