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Cooking with Organic Broccoli

Cooking with Organic Broccoli

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What to do with a bumper harvest of organic broccoli? PHIL DUDMAN shares some super recipes.

When the broccoli harvest is on, it’s on!

 I planted a block of around a dozen plants this year… and what I love most about growing broccoli, is that if your prepared to keep watering and feeding it, you’ll get months of little side sprouts appearing after you’ve harvested the central flower head.  

This seasons planting has provided my family with a big feed of broccoli at least twice a week. Desperate to keep the kids interested in eating it, I asked my fab food buddy Julie Ray to come up with a few yummy ideas for cooking it, which she presented live to air on Good Gardening ABC North Coast.

One of the ideas… a broccoli pesto… had me questioning her culinary sanity… but I’ve got to say folks, I found it absolutely scrumptious. Enjoy!


Spicy Broccoli Fritters with Tahini Mint Yoghurt

This deep-fried broccoli makes an excellent snack or starter. 

Degree of difficulty:Low

Preparation time:10 minutes 

 Ingredients 2 cups besan (chickpea) flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 curry leavessalt to taste
200gms broccoli, cut into small florets
vegetable oil for deep frying
Tahini, Mint Yoghurt1 cup Greek style plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
In a large bowl combine the flour, ground cumin, chilli powder, ground turmeric curry leaves and a pinch of salt. Add enough water to make a thick batter that will stick to the broccoli. Coat the broccoli florets in the batter.
Fill a heavy based saucepan or wok with one-third full of oil and heat to 180C ( a cube of bread will brown in 15 seconds). Add the broccoli to the hot oil and cook for 3 minutes or until golden and cooked through, then drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle with salt and serve with Tahini, Mint Yoghurt
To make the yoghurt mix, combine all the ingredients and place into a serving dish. 


Broccoli Pesto Salad with Char-grilled Tuna

This salad is a great way to use your glut of broccoli. The tuna can be substituted with chicken or lamb.


Degree of difficulty:Medium


1 cup red quinoa, washed
1 teaspoon salt
500gms broccoli, cut into small florets and stems chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 teaspoons salt, extra
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons crème fraiche
3 tablespoons whole egg mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice, extra

1 red onion, peeled and sliced
200gms snow peas, top and tailed and cut in half
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
200gms cherry tomatoes, halved
6 anchovies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers
6 x 100gms yellow fin tuna steaks
2 tablespoons lemon juice, extra
3 tablespoons olive oil



In a medium saucepan place quinoa, two cups of water and salt and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up. (Quinoa is done when you can see the sprout in each grain, and is tender with a bit of pop to each bite.) Drain any extra water and set aside.

Cook the broccoli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes or just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking. Set aside.
To make the broccoli pesto, puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until smooth.

Combine half of the pesto with crème fraiche, mayonnaise and lemon juice and set aside. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, remaining broccoli florets, onion, snow peas, chilli, tomatoes, anchovies and capers. Just before serving toss the salad mix with the dressing.

To cook the tuna steaks, combine the lemon juice and olive oil in a glass or ceramic bowl and season well. Place the tuna steaks in the lemon mixture and marinate for no longer than 15 minutes. Heat a char-grill on a high heat and remove the tuna from the marinade and cook the tuna steaks for 1-2 minutes on each side depending on thickness.

To serve, divide the salad between six plates and serve with the cooked tuna topped with a dollop of broccoli pesto.