Why It Works
- Cooking the broccoli rapidly minimizes the development of bitter flavors, and the high heat produces sweetness through caramelization.
- A touch of honey enhances the caramelized flavors of the charred broccoli and balances the cheese's salty bite.
Broccoli and cheese gets a grown-up treatment with this easy update to the classic. The broccoli is cooked hot and fast under a broiler to develop some char, instead of being blandly steamed or boiled, then cloaked in a blizzard of finely shaved Manchego cheese in place of the orange stuff. A final touch of toasted hazelnuts and honey tops off the florets.
- 1 head broccoli (about 1 pound; 450g), stem end trimmed and stalk peeled of tough skin
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon; 15ml)
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) honey
- 1/3 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (about 2 ounces; 55g)
- 4 ounces (115g) Manchego cheese
Preheat the broiler to high and place a rimmed aluminum half-sheet pan 6 inches below it.
Cut broccoli head in half lengthwise, then cut each half into individual florets, each with a long spear of stem attached. In a large mixing bowl, toss broccoli with olive oil and salt, rubbing it well with your hands to coat evenly and thoroughly.
Arrange broccoli on preheated sheet tray, then broil until nicely charred in spots, about 5 minutes. (Keep a close eye on it, as different broilers have different power levels.)
Transfer broiled broccoli to a serving plate and season with black pepper. Sprinkle lemon juice all over, followed by honey and hazelnuts. Using a Microplane grater, grate Manchego cheese generously all over. Serve immediately.