Hayley Dunne

Fried Broccoli with Tomato, Pesto and Feta

Hayley Dunne
Fried Broccoli with Tomato, Pesto and Feta

Broccoli never tasted so good.

One of the simplest salads ever, and oh so tasty. And there's plenty of ways to make it your own.

broccoli.jpg

Ingredients
1 head of broccoli
1 punnet cherry or heirloom tomatoes
50g danish feta
300g pesto*
Fresh basil
Vegetable oil
Olive oil

Method
1. Put vegetable oil into a deep pot, about 6cm high. Make sure your pot is less than half full, and that you have tongs handy. Place the oil on a medium heat. While the oil heats up, cut the florets off the broccoli stalk.

2. Test that the oil is ready by placing a small piece of broccoli into the pot using tongs. If the oil starts to crackle and pop around the broccoli, you're good to go!

3. Fry your broccoli in two batches. Starting with the larger pieces, gently lower them into the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. They cook quickly, so make sure you keep an eye on them.

4. Remove your larger pieces from the oil carefully and place onto paper towel. Place your smaller broccoli pieces into the oil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from oil and place on paper towel.

5. Now it's time to plate up! Smear your pesto across the bottom of the plate. Break up the feta and sprinkle it over the top. Place your tomatoes evenly around the plate (nope, you don't even have to slice them), then top it all off with the beautiful broccoli. A drizzle of olive oil and some fresh basil leaves to garnish will have your salad looking too good to eat!

This salad is super versatile, so get on in there and jazz it up. Swap your pesto for olive tapenade, or top it off with chickpeas or shredded chicken for some extra oomph. Don't forget to tag us in your beautiful creations!

*A Note on Pesto
I love making pesto, but it's awfully time-consuming, and the one that I buy from my local deli is ah-mazing. There's nothing wrong with leaving it to the professionals sometimes!

If you want to make your own pesto, this is my recipe:
Soak 1 cup of cashews in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain half of the water, then add cashews and remaining water to a food processor with one garlic clove, a handful of spinach, two handfuls of soft herbs (basil, parsley and/or dill), half a lemon - juice and zest, and half a cup of grated parmesan. For my vegan friends, ditch the parmesan and add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast. Blitz, adding enough olive oil to bring it to the consistency you're looking for.