Broccoli is the unfortunate under dog of the cabbage family. and yet, it is THE most nutritious vegetable around: it surpasses kale by a long shot on the health benefit aspect, and it is recognised as an ally in the fight against cancer. This salad is not only wonderful, it will redeem humble broccoli in the eyes of many.
Pre-heat the oven to 225'C
Wash and trim the broccoli. Cut the top into bite-sized florets, and set aside.
Thinly slice the broccoli stalks, and blanch until fork-tender in a pot of salted, boiling water.
Carefully wash the cherry tomatoes while trying to keep the stalks intact. Cut the vines into portions using scissors~: you want to account for 5 or 6 cherry tomatoes per person.
Trim the garlic cloves, peel and slice. Set aside.
Remove the tail from the red pepper, and slice thinly.
Pick the leaves off half the thyme and oregano sprigs. Set aside.
Using about half the olive oil, toss the herb sprigs, garlic slices, broccoli florets, and red pepper slices. Place in an oven-proof roasting tray, top with the cherry tomatoes. Roast for about 10-15 minutes, or until some the vegetables begin to char.
Meanwhile, zest and juice the lemon.
In a food processor, blend the broccoli stalks, picked herbs, lemon juice and zest, and remaining olive oil until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Toss the dressing into the roasted vegetables, except for the tomatoes. Check the seasoning again before plating up.
Use the roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine as garnish.
If you have any garlic oil on hand, use it instead of plain olive oil.
«Although it is rarely thought of as such, broccoli is a true Mediterranean vegetable, and it marries well with all those flavours. try to vary the herbs, or throw in some capers or black olives.»