Grilling broccoli is one of the best ways to prepare this delicious, highly nutritious vegetable. Crisp-tender and slightly charred, it has a wonderful savory taste that many people claim is slightly addictive.
Marinade for grilling broccoli
Broccoli tastes best when tossed with a quick marinade before cooking. It is also advisable to use a heat-safe silicone pastry basting brush to baste the broccoli while it is on the grill. Below is a marinade recipe that is quick, easy, and made from pantry staples. Measurements are for the preparation of one head of broccoli.
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of oil. Grapeseed is one option, another is extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (a garlic press can come in handy)
Whisk the ingredients together, salting to taste. Toss the broccoli in the marinade before grilling. Use leftover marinade for basting during cooking.
(This is a flexible recipe that can be customized with different oils and seasonings. Some people also like to add a sweetener, such as honey or sugar, as well.)
Florets and stalks
Many people mistakenly believe that broccoli stems or stalks are inedible. This is untrue: While the very base of the stem is woody and should be discarded, much of it is perfectly edible. . .and delicious! Eating the stalk reduces food waste and is economical, as it creates an extra portion (or two) of broccoli.
Broccoli stalk preparation basics
Broccoli stalks should be peeled and cut to a manageable size. The size and shape of the cut depends on which part of the broccoli stalk is prepared.
The bottom two inches of a broccoli stalk should be cut off and discarded using a chef knife. The remaining stalk should then be peeled and then cut crossways into medallions, 1/4 of an inch thick. Marinate and place on a BBQ grill pan over the flame for about 2 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned. Move pan to another grill area to continue cooking over indirect heat, basting and turning periodically for about 8-10 minutes.
Thinner stalks near the florets
Narrower stalks closer to the florets don't have to be cut crosswise and don't even have to be separated from the florets. Cooks may want to slice the floret and stalk in half, lengthwise, to create a more manageable portion.
Otherwise, the preparation is similar: Peel the stalks and marinate. Place on the grill, directly over the fire, (use the BBC grill pan if necessary), moving off the fire after 2 minutes. Continue to cook and baste for 8-10 minutes.
Grilling broccoli florets
Florets are even easier to prepare: In fact, many stores sell pre-cut florets that are ready for marinade. Because these portions are smaller than those involving the stalk, using the grill pan is a must.
Cooking time may also be shorter: Grill over the fire until just starting to brown, then shift the pan to a cooler area of the grill, turning and basting regularly. The florets make a fine side dish, but could also be added to a grilled vegetable salad.
The best way to get kids and adults alike to eat vegetables is to make them delicious with careful preparation. Grilling broccoli is an excellent approach to a vegetable that is inexpensive, readily available, and highly nutritious.