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eat out: alfresco dining

It’s a well-known fact that food tastes better outside. Warmer days urge us to dine alfresco and as Britain raises its hopes as all eyes turns to the manicured lawns of the All England Tennis Club for Wimbledon, it couldn’t be a better time to enjoy a picnic. Here’s our suggestion for a delicious salad (to enjoy whether you’re biting your nails in anguish in front of the TV or watching with bated breath on Henman Hill).

Chargrilled broccoli with garlic and chilli
(From the Ottolenghi Cookbook)

serves 2-4

2 heads of broccoli (approx. 500g)
100ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 mild red chillies/jalepenos, thinly sliced
coarse sea salt
black pepper

Separate the broccoli into florets and blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove immediately to a bowl of ice water, drain and leave to dry completely.
Once the broccoli is dry, toss with 40ml of the olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Grill the broccoli in batches on a piping hot griddle pan, turning to get char marks on all sides.
Meanwhile, place the remaining oil in a small saucepan together with the garlic and chillies and cook on a medium heat until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Be careful not to let the garlic and chilli burn.
Pour the garlic and chilli oil over the hot broccoli and toss well. Season to taste and serve!