It’s kind of a running joke in today’s modern kitchens that it’s hip to burn everything. I can’t tell you how many menus I’ve seen with charred lemon ash on top of Hamachi crudo, burnt hay ice creams, and, of course, the old reliable: charred leeks. But charring exists as a technique for good reason. It imparts smoky, complex, subtle (OK, sometimes not so subtle) bitter notes that can elevate even the simplest of dishes to something memorable.
I developed this recipe to show that sometimes—within reason—it’s OK to burn things. Here I take broccoli and char it in a dry pan to get pure char flavor. I incorporate some of that broccoli into a smoky, vibrant chimichurri sauce and dress the rest simply for a side. To riff on the classic beef and broccoli combo, I sear some flank steaks for a simple, flavor-packed meal that comes together in under an hour.
Cook's Note: We’ve tested this recipe using both gram measurements and traditional U.S. volume and weight measurements, so you get to pick the one that works best for you.
Editor’s Note: We develop our recipes using gram measurements in order to be as precise as possible and then convert to U.S. volume and weight measurements for our readers’ convenience. There are times that we will call for combining two volume measurements to achieve the correct gram measurement.
Season steaks liberally on both sides with salt. Place on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
Chop 2 ounces broccoli florets fine and place in 12-inch cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet. Place skillet over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until well charred, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to bowl of food processor. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Return skillet to high heat and heat for 30 seconds. Spread remaining 14 ounces broccoli in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until well charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer charred broccoli to large bowl and toss with arugula, olive oil, 2 teaspoons honey, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with shaved Pecorino to taste. Cover bowl tightly and set aside.
Add parsley, cilantro, shallot, vinegar, garlic, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes to food processor with broccoli and process until finely chopped, 15 to 30 seconds. With processor running, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup vegetable oil until emulsified, about 30 seconds. Transfer chimichurri to small bowl and set aside.
Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in now-empty skillet over high heat until just smoking. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season liberally on both sides with pepper Add steaks to skillet, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook until browned on first side, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip steaks and cook until browned on second side, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip steaks and continue to cook, flipping every 30 seconds, until meat registers 120 degrees F/49 degrees C (for medium-rare), 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer steaks to cutting board, spread with 1/3 cup chimichurri, and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice steaks thinly against grain. Transfer sliced steak to warm platter and serve with charred broccoli and remaining chimichurri.
680 g flank steak, trimmed and halved crosswise
Kosher salt and pepper
460 g broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces and halved through stem
30 g baby arugula
28 g extra-virgin olive oil
16 g pue 8 g honey, divided
15 g lemon juice
1 g plus 1 g red pepper flakes, divided
Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved with vegetable peeler
30 g shallot (1 shallot), sliced thin
20 g fresh parsley leaves
15 g sherry vinegar
10 g fresh cilantro leaves
10 g garlic cloves (2 cloves), sliced thin
100 g plus 28 g vegetable oil, divided