Have I ever mentioned that I love vegetables? I’m not a vegetarian, but if pressed, I’d give up meat way before giving up veggies. Meat or no meat, meals just aren’t complete or balanced without veggies, IMO. My current obsession for vegetable cookery is simple. Hot pan, hot oil, hard sear. Just like searing a piece of steak or filet of salmon. Today I’m sharing this simple principle with you in my Charred Paprika Broccoli recipe. It seriously couldn’t be easier, and yet, flavorful. Isn’t that what we all hope for in a weeknight recipe?
Truth be told, I wrote the recipe for 4 cups of raw broccoli, but by the time the small florets cook down, I feel like I could eat the entire batch on my own. So, I’ve listed the recipe as making two servings. I mean, I can share if I have to.
What I would really suggest is making a double batch. Then, keep the charred goodies in the fridge and add to meals later in the week. These charred broccoli bites aren’t just good on their own. Add them to salads, put on top of a grain bowl, stir into some pasta, or toss into scrambled eggs for breakfast. The more you have, the more you’ll find good use for them!
Another confession, the butter is optional. I don’t mind a pat of butter every now and then, but if you opt for dairy free, then simply add more olive oil or even coconut oil if you like. The paprika just needs a little fat to help it distribute evenly around the broccoli, and not just land where you shake it. So, basically, you get a flavorful, healthy dish that satisfies all appetites and dietary preferences. Yum and Done!
Heat a cast iron skillet or other large saute pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and warm. Get pan and oil pretty well hot.
Carefully add the broccoli to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, then toss or stir quickly to coat evenly. Then, let the broccoli sit still in the hot pan for a few minutes. This will help sear or char the broccoli, similar to cooking meat.
After a few minutes, toss or stir the broccoli again and char on alternate sides. Do this another 3-5 minutes until broccoli is slightly tender but still with a slight crunch or texture.
Finish by adding the butter (or more olive oil, coconut oil or non-dairy butter) to the pan along with the paprika. As the butter melts, stir the broccoli to coat it evenly with the butter and paprika. Transfer to a serving dish and serve while warm.