Tenderstem Broccoli with Chillied Bacon Lardons, Mozzarella and Basil Dressing

  • 100g smoked bacon or pancetta lardons (or simply cut lardons/batons from thick-cut streaky bacon)
  • ½ red chilli, finely sliced (or use a few pinches of hot chilli flakes)
  • 300g Tenderstem broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 generous tablespoon shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 mozzarella (if you can source it try buffalo mozzarella – truly delicious)

Ideally you want to cook this in a non-stick or heavy based fry-pan – you will need one with a lid.

Heat up the fry-pan and add the bacon and ½ teaspoon of the oil. Cook over a moderate heat, stirring often, until the bacon becomes a little crispy. Add the chilli and cook for another 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon and chilli from the pan onto a warm plate, keeping the tasty fats in the pan.

Add the Tenderstem to the pan and toss it to coat with the pan fats (making it even more delicious) and cook for 30 seconds on high heat to colour a little. Carefully add 4 tablespoons (60ml) of hot water to the pan (measure them into a cup beforehand to make this easier) and immediately put the lid on. If the pan is very hot steam will escape so do be a little careful. Cook over a moderate high heat for 1½ minutes with the lid on. Ideally the Tenderstem broccoli will still have some crunch to it.

While the Tenderstem broccoli is cooking, place the basil with the remaining olive oil in a small jar and give it a shake with the lid on (or mix in a small bowl). Add the lemon juice and soy sauce and shake again.

Cut each mozzarella into 6 slices.

Once the Tenderstem is cooked pile it onto 4 warmed plates, interleaving it with the mozzarella, then spoon the chillied-bacon over that. Shake the dressing one more time and drizzle it over the mozzarella.

Recipe courtesy of Tenderstem Broccoli

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