Charred Broccoli and Spring Onions with Roasted Garlic Coconut Cream

Recently I’ve been testing recipes for a client, who has been very specific that they be either vegan, or paleo based. It’s given me a lot to think about, and at times has been challenging, as of course there are guidelines to both these diets. But a challenge is something I’m always up for, and I love it when a recipe with such strict parameters comes together beautifully.

This recipe is one that I am particularly happy with, and it’s the sauce that pulls it together, and lifts it a notch. This roast garlic coconut cream is not only delicious served with the charred vegetables, but is superb with roast chicken, and grilled fish too. It’s been getting a work out in my kitchen over the past few weeks as we can’t seem to get enough of it. One thing though, the sauce when refrigerated changes slightly in texture, so use it straight away, and slightly warm. Any leftovers can be freshened with a touch of hot water.

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Serves 2-4

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 270ml coconut cream
  • 500g baby broccoli florets with leaves, or broccolini, cut in half lenghtways
  • 1-2 small hot red chillies, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • An extra clove of garlic, green germ removed and thinly sliced
  • 4-5tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed
  • Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2tbsp combined sunflower and pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges
  • Thai basil sprigs

Preheat the oven to 200C and slice the top quarter off the head of the garlic horizontally and discard. Place the rest of the garlic in the centre of a square of foil, drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Wrap up the garlic, place it on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, until soft.  Set aside, and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the garlic cloves, discard the skin, and crush in a mortar and pestle, or with a spoon.

Bring the coconut cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, whisking constantly. Turn off the heat immediately as it comes to a boil and let sit until just warm. Then stir in the garlic purée, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature until needed.

On a baking tray lined with parchment paper place the spring onions and drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil. Place into the 200C oven for 5 minutes. Spring onions should be soft and charred in places. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron pan. When hot, toss in broccoli, garlic and chilli, stir to coat in olive oil (add a little more oil if necessary) and pour in 1/4 cup water. Pop on the lid and leave for 3 minutes. Remove lid, turn broccoli over, and replace lid for 2 minutes. Check to see if ready, you should be able to just pierce stems with a knife, and broccoli will be charred in places.

Place broccoli on a serving platter entwined with the spring onions, spoon over roast garlic coconut cream, and scatter with toasted seeds and Thai basil.

Serve with wedges of lemon.