June 24, 2012
How Grilled Broccoli Changed My Life
In 1996 I started working as a Kitchen Manager for a full service rib restaurant that had a massive salad bar. This massive salad bar had some of the usual items of the day: potato salad, hearts of palm, chocolate pudding, mixed greens, and to my surprise grilled broccoli! I thought I had seen everything grilled or BBQ but I was wrong. I watched the broiler cook perform afternoon prep as he pulled large broccoli spears out of a bus tray. The spears had been doused and tossed with Italian dressing and then drained off and put onto the broiler to char.
Once the broccoli had charred on the outside and the stalks were piping hot, they were then chopped into bite size pieces and put into containers for the salad bar to be held and kept cold.
For some strange reason the entire process captivated me so I went over to the salad bar, tried a few and became an instant fan. I remember like it was yesterday, the broccoli was so crunchy with the stalks being a little chewy.
Ever since my discovery of grilled broccoli, I have incorporated grilled broccoli and other grilled vegetables like bell peppers, green onions, zucchini and yellow squash into all of my BBQ meals. Every time I prepare a BBQ feast with any grilled vegetable, I get to relive the one experience that changed my outlook on what makes a great BBQ menu.