Recipes from Six Seasons: Charred Broccoli with Tonatto, Pecorino, Lemon, and Chiles

A zesty charred broccoli dish topped with tonatto

A recipe from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden


While Joshua Mcfadden calls for a broiler here, I couldn’t give up a chance to pull out my grill and spend some time outside basking in the easy spring sunshine. Two polarizing ingredients, tuna and broccoli, come together in perfect and delicious harmony creating a creamy, crunchy, zingy, charred masterpiece. Serve this alongside grilled ribeye, pasta alla norma, roasted root vegetables, scalloped potatoes, or whatever pleases you, and turn some broccoli skeptics into believers.

Charred Broccoli with Tonatto, Pecorino, Lemon, and Chiles

Recipe Yield: 4
Ingredient List:
1 ½ pounds broccoli, stems trimmed and peeled, cut into long florets
1 lemon, halved, and one of the halves cut into 4 wedges
Guntur Sannam Chile Flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oracle Olive Oil
A nice chunk of aged pecorino romano, for grating
2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
Tonatto (see recipe below)

Prep Method:
Light up the grill or heat a broiler.

Spread all the broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet and broil, with no oil, until it is slightly softened and nicely charred on most surfaces, turning once, 5 to 7 minutes. You can also do this on a grill.

Pile the broccoli into a bowl and squeeze the half lemon all over it. Season with ¼ teaspoon of the chile flakes and generous amounts of salt and black pepper. Add ¼ cup of olive oil and toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning until it’s delicious.

Arrange the broccoli in a serving platter, grate a nice shower of pecorino over top, sprinkle on breadcrumbs, if using, and serve with the lemon wedges. Set out the tonatto as a dip.*

*Note:  We chose to smother the broccoli in the Tonatto for an easier style of serving.

Recipe for the Tonatto:
1 4oz. Tin of Ventrusca Tuna in Olive Oil
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
About ⅓ cup good quality mayonnaise
¼ cup Oracle Olive Oil
About 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Prep Method:
Put the tuna and salt in a food processor and pulse until it's blended.* Add ⅓ cup of mayonnaise and pulse until the ingredients are getting creamy. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice and process until the tonatto is very smooth and creamy.

Taste and add more mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, or salt. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

*Note: If your food processor is broken like mine, or you just don't own one, don’t fret! You can finely chop the flaky tuna and blend all the ingredients with a fork or whisk for a slightly more rustic sauce.

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Two polarizing ingredients, tuna and broccoli, come together in perfect and delicious harmony creating a creamy, crunchy, zingy, charred masterpiece.
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