Char-grilled Broccoli with Chickpeas, Almonds, Lemon and Chilli

Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen
Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen
3rd of December 2013
FINALLY this week as our team busily prepares for our Open House event in Sydney, I have had the great pleasure of trying a local delicacy found only in Surry Hills, NSW - salad lunchboxes by Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen!  Since establishing Arthur Street Kitchen in 2011, Hetty has quickly amassed a cult following for her delicious and super healthy salad lunches, delivered personally by bicycle every Thursday and Friday to an ever-growing list of local clientele. All Hetty's hearty, flavoursome salads are vegetarian, and are home made daily in her family kitchen.  We're super chuffed to be ending this year with some of Hetty's famous salads, especially given that she has just released her very first cookbook!  'Community, Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen' features 60 of Hetty's favourite salad recipes with photography by Luisa Brimble (who also photographed this beautiful series for Hetty's Tasty Tuesday debut this month!).  The book is $38.00 and available from Hetty's online store and various stockists listed here.  Love your work ladies! - Lucy x
Char-grilled Broccoli with Chickpeas, Almonds, Lemon and Chilli by Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen.  Photo - Luisa Brimble for The Design Files.
There are those special moments in life that you’ll always remember, no matter how far or wide you roam. For me, one of those seminal moments was the first time I tasted char-grilled broccoli. In one eye opening instant, I realised the full flavour potential of vegetables, if treated creatively and with due respect. Many of us grew up eating vegetables devoid of taste or texture, drowned in water or under a gluggy sauce. Even today, in our culinarily-evolved world, veggies are still often treated as second fiddle to the meaty main act. At Arthur Street Kitchen, we believe in giving vegetables their moment in the limelight! This broccoli salad was one of the dishes that inspired me to start cooking for my community because, to be frank, it is just too delicious not to be shared. In this recipe, char-grilling broccoli gives this modest brassica an exciting, more-ish edge. Push the boundaries and give the broccoli some good colour until it borders on being burnt in some parts. The smokiness and depth of flavour will surprise you. Combined with nourishing chickpeas, a daring squeeze of lemon and a big salty hit of capers and Parmesan, this salad will show you why broccoli is a bona fide star in my kitchen, and soon, yours!
Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen with her delivery bike on the streets of Surry Hills!  Photo - Luisa Brimble.


2 heads (1kg) broccoli, cut into florets 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 80g capers, rinsed and drained 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced 500g cooked chickpeas (about 2 cans) drained 1 cup baby spinach leaves 1 cup parsley, finely chopped 1 cup mint, leaves picked Zest and juice of 1 lemon 80g Parmesan cheese, shaved 50g flaked almonds, toasted Sea salt and black pepper
Ingredients for char-grilled Broccoli with Chickpeas, Almonds, Lemon and Chilli by Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen.  Photo - Luisa Brimble for The Design Files.

Method (Serves 4-6 as a main meal or 6-8 as a side dish)

Toss the broccoli in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan or barbecue until it is smoking hot, and add the broccoli. Turn the broccoli so they get char marks all over. Continue until all the broccoli is cooked.
Char-grilled Broccoli by Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen.  Photo - Luisa Brimble for The Design Files.
Place the rest of the oil in a small saucepan with the capers, garlic and chillies. Heat gently over medium heat for 30 seconds or so until the garlic just begins to turn golden. Take off the heat immediately and pour the hot oil mixture over the char-grilled broccoli. Combine the broccoli with the chickpeas, spinach leaves, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and mix well. To serve, squeeze over lemon juice and top with parsley, mint leaves, Parmesan and almonds. Massive thanks to Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen for sharing her fabulous seasonal salad ideas with us this month, and to Luisa Brimble for the beautiful pics!  For more of Hetty's hearty, flavoursome salad recipes, do check out her brand new cookbook, out this month!  'Community, Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen' is $38.00 and available from Hetty's online store and various stockists listed here!  
Hetty in the kitchen.  Photo - Luisa Brimble for The Design Files.

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