Karen Martini's charred broccoli and spring onion salad with tahini dressing

Buttery almonds and toasted buckwheat add crunch to this charred vegetable salad.
Buttery almonds and toasted buckwheat add crunch to this charred vegetable salad. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Gluten-free

I just can't get enough of charred spring onions at the moment, and broccoli also loves the grill, with a good char taking it to another level. There's a distinct nuttiness to grilled broccoli, so it matches beautifully with this dish's tahini, buttery almonds and toasted buckwheat. The dressing for this is also super-versatile; drizzle it over steamed rice and vegetables, fried eggs or grilled chicken.

Ingredients

80g flaked almonds

30g butter

½ tsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp toasted buckwheat*

1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for grilling

3 long red chillies, sliced 4mm thick on an angle

2 heads broccoli, cut into 5mm slices

5 spring onions, roots and half the green trimmed

For the tahini dressing

80ml warm water

3 tbsp tahini

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely grated

½ tsp castor sugar

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. To make the dressing, add all the ingredients to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and combine until smooth. If necessary, add a little more water to achieve a pouring consistency.

2. Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over high heat, tossing occasionally for 3 minutes, until lightly toasted. Add the butter, season, and once the butter turns nut-brown, take off the heat and add the paprika. Toss through the buckwheat and season, then set aside.

3. Add olive oil to a frying pan over high heat and heat for 1 minute. Add the chilli and fry for about 2 minutes until softened and slightly coloured, then drain on paper towel.

4. Preheat a griddle pan or barbecue on high. Lightly oil the broccoli slices, season and grill for about two minutes each side until charred and softening but not completely cooked. Stack the pieces on top of each other so they sweat a little.

5. Lightly oil the shallots and grill for about 2 minutes until tender and charred. Cut each in half on an angle.

6. Spoon the dressing onto a platter, then pile on the broccoli and shallots. Scatter over the chilli and the almond and buckwheat mixture, and serve.

Tip: *You can buy toasted buckwheat quite readily, but if you have raw groats, just toast them in a dry pan over medium heat, tossing frequently for about 5 minutes until they've darkened and have a toasty fragrance.