Broccoli, eggplant, fermented chilli brittle

Broccoli, eggplant, fermented chilli brittle

Finding Fire

Broccoli develops a beautiful sweet nuttiness when grilled and pairs particularly well with the creamy smokiness of the eggplant purée in this dish.

The fermented chilli brittle provides a bit of heat and a welcome crunch, too.


Quantity Ingredient
250ml peanut oil
100g peanuts
25g pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 teaspoons Fermented chilli paste
30g coconut sugar
80ml filtered water
2 large eggplants (aubergines)
35ml rice vinegar
sea salt
200ml grapeseed oil
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 large whole head of broccoli
zest of 1 lime
extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle


  1. 1. Prepare your embers.
  2. 2. In a medium saucepan, heat 200 ml (7 floz) of the peanut oil to 180°C (355°F). Fry the peanuts in the oil until lightly browned. Strain and place the peanuts on paper towel to drain, reserving the oil. Repeat the process with the pumpkin seeds.
  3. 3. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining peanut oil and fry the fermented chilli paste until the moisture has evaporated. Add the sugar and water, and continue to heat until the mixture reaches 150°C (300°F) (hard crack stage) on a sugar thermometer. Mix in the nuts and seeds, pour onto a clean baking tray and allow to cool completely. Once the nuts and seeds have cooled, break the brittle into small pieces and reserve.
  4. 4. Spread the embers evenly across the base of the grate and set the grill cooling rack 5 cm (2 in) above the burning embers. Pinprick the eggplants all over and place directly on the grill over an intense heat so that the skin blisters and blackens, rotating to ensure that it blisters evenly.
  5. 5. Remove the eggplants from the rack, allow to rest for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the charred skin. Place the flesh of the eggplants on a clean dish, season and drizzle with the reserved peanut oil. The smoky juices of the eggplant should run and mingle with the oil.
  6. 6. In a food processor, blend the eggplant with its juices and the rice vinegar until smooth and creamy. Season with sea salt and pass through a fine-mesh sieve.
  7. 7. In a cast-iron pan, heat the grapeseed oil to 140°C (285°F) and fry the chilli until crisp. Remove the fried chilli with a slotted spoon, season and drain on paper towel.
  8. 8. Prepare the broccoli by peeling the woody base stems, reserving the leaves and cutting the head into eighths. Grill the broccoli for 3–4 minutes until lightly charred. Turn to repeat on the other side. Transfer to a clean tray, season well with sea salt and lime zest, and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  9. 9. Grill the broccoli leaves quickly over the embers until crisp and toasted. Season.
  10. 10. Arrange the broccoli on the warm eggplant purée, and garnish with the toasted broccoli leaves, crumbled nut brittle and chilli threads. Serve immediately.
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