A Restaurant Made Me Love Charred Broccoli
Recently on my annual girls’ trip, we went to a fantastic restaurant in Carlsbad, California called Campfire. The number one most popular dish that everyone gets is Charred Broccoli. It was amazing. The funny part is that I’ve never been a huge fan of broccoli. I prefer broccolini. But their incredible dish made up of charred broccoli tossed with a lime vinaigrette, topped with hot maple peanuts, and drizzled with Chermoula Aioli could make me a convert!
The Roasted Broccoli Revelation: A Culinary Triumph at Campfire in Carlsbad, California!
If you go to San Diego, you absolutely must eat at Campfire, and certainly order the broccoli. Mind you, my spin on their dish is really my own version—I certainly can’t do what they do in their professional kitchen.
I have the best girl’s trip each year with some besties. Laura is the main planner of the trip. She is an avid fly fisher and a whole lot of fun!
The broccoli is so good, in fact, that the restaurant is prepared for those of us that ask for the recipe.
Thanks to this road map from Campfire, I could recreate my version of their sensational recipe.
Layers of Flavor: How Campfire’s Innovative Dish Will Win You Over Too
Any good dish is all about the layers, and this one has quite a few! I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention up front that this is actually four different recipes and certainly an undertaking to make this charred broccoli, but I can assure you that it’s so, so worth it.
How to Select Broccoli at the Store.
Like I said before, I am much more of a broccolini fan than broccoli, but I have a few thoughts about selecting the best broccoli at the market.
- Start by looking for vibrant green florets that are tightly packed and firm to the touch.
- Avoid any broccoli with yellowing or wilting florets, as these are signs of age and potential loss of flavor.
Is Broccoli Good For You?
Broccoli contains approximately 4g of fiber and 4g of protein per serving making it a fabulous vegetable to add to your diet.
Let’s Break Down the Layers of Flavor in Campfire’s Charred Broccoli
The Chermoula Revolution: Elevate Your Cooking with Campfire’s Flavorful Twist
Adding a new spice to your repertoire is a really fun and affordable way to update your cooking, and chermoula is kind of a hot spice right now—and by hot, I mean chefs are beginning to cook with it. It may take some effort to find it, but it’s worth it.
What is chermoula?
Chermoula is a North African marinade and sauce with vibrant flavors used in Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian cuisines. It typically includes herbs, garlic, lemon juice or vinegar, spices, and olive oil. This Magic Elixir recipe makes more than enough chermoula for the broccoli. Keep any extra stored in the refrigerator in a jar with a tight-fitting lid for other uses like as a spread on a sandwich or alongside my Passport Chicken as a dipping sauce.
This tangy and light lime vinaigrette is easy to pull together and tastes great with only a few ingredients, coconut sugar, hot water, lime juice, olive oil, and Tamari.
If you have any of this Magic Elixir left over, it is also great for dressing your favorite salad.
Hot Maple Peanut Perfection:
Let me tell you, these peanuts are so good it’s dangerous! They are great sprinkled over this broccoli, but are also perfect as a snack on their own or added to salads for a bit of crunch factor.
- This Charred Broccoli recipe would be a truly spectacular side dish to bring to a party! You can make the nuts, the vinaigrette, and the aioli the day before and then assemble them later.
Recreating Campfire’s Culinary Magic: The Journey to My Own Roasted Broccoli Perfection
Campfire provides a framework for the finished product, and some of the ingredients are listed on the menu, so I quite literally recreated this delicious dish day after day until I landed on a winner. Again, I couldn’t actually even begin to do what they did, because their creation is top chef, James Beard’s award level of mastery level (literally! Because they’ve won a James Beard award), but I sure do love my own version.
This Charred Broccoli is incredibly delicious, even for those of us who aren’t crazy about broccoli. I can’t wait for you to try it! Let me know what you think.
If you make my version of Campfire’s Charred Broccoli leave a comment and let me know. If you’re looking for more inspiration, sign up for our Friday Favorites newsletter, and follow along on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok to join in all the fun!Print
Discover how a restaurant turned this broccoli hater into a charred broccoli lover! Learn how to recreate this delicious dish yourself and elevate your broccoli game.
For the chermoula aioli:
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup light olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chermoula spice blend
For the peanut topping:
- 1 cup peanuts
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the lime vinaigrette:
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons tamari
For the broccoli:
- 1 ½ pounds broccoli
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 cup light olive oil
Heat oven to 375°F.
Make the aioli.
Add the egg to a blender or a jar if using an immersion blender and blend on low while slowly pouring in the olive oil. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, garlic, and salt and keep blending. Once the aioli base is emulsified, fold in the chermoula spice and set aside.
Make the peanut topping.
In a bowl, toss the peanuts with the maple syrup and then season with the salt and red pepper. Place the nuts on a parchment paper lined sheet tray and bake in the oven for 8 minutes, until lightly browned, but monitor them closely so that they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Raise the temperature to 400°F.
Make the lime vinaigrette.
In a small bowl dissolve, the coconut sugar in the hot water. Whisk in the lime juice, olive oil, and tamari. Set aside.
Make the broccoli.
Wash and dry your broccoli then slice the stalks into ½ inch pieces. When you get to the florets, cut them into similar sized pieces. Place your broccoli on a sheet pan and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Place into the oven for 12 minutes. Allow the broccoli to cool down for a few minutes.
Sprinkle the rice flour over the cooled broccoli then toss so that it has a light coating of flour. Heat the light olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough to fry, add half the broccoli and immediately raise the heat to medium high. Flash fry the broccoli for 3 minutes, or until they begin to brown and blacken on the edges. The florets will fry faster than the stalk pieces. Using a slotted spoon, remove them to drain on a paper towel lined sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining broccoli.
Assemble the dish.
Toss the broccoli with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette in a serving dish. Sprinkle some of the peanuts on top and drizzle a few spoonful’s of the aioli. Serve and enjoy!
Keywords: broccoli, charred broccoli, side dish, Campfire restaurant
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