Broccoli with Crispy Bread Crumbs and Pumpkin Seeds

A creamy purée and crunchy topping make this 30-minute dish a more-than-worthy addition to your weeknight repertoire.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    30 minutes


By Nigel Slater

Published on March 14, 2023

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Vegetables are far too often an afterthought when it comes to weeknight dinners. Playing second fiddle to the meat and starch, they’re like an addendum that makes the meal legal. But celebrated British cookbook author Nigel Slater aims to change that with this fast, unfussy take on broccoli, which turns the oft-maligned veg into a main course with wonderful complexity in flavor and texture. It calls for just a handful of ingredients to boot.


  • ½ cup dried bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (optional)
  • 2 lbs. broccoli (4 heads), trimmed, cut into large florets, stalks sliced into ¼-in. coins


Step 1

To a large pot set over medium heat, add the bread crumbs and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and pumpkin seeds, season with salt and black pepper to taste, and scrape into a bowl.

Step 2

To the empty pot, add the vegetable stock (or an equivalent amount of generously sated water) and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook until just tender and bright green, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Step 3

Using a slotted spoon, transfer half of the broccoli to a blender or food processor. Add 1½ cups of the cooking liquid and the remaining olive oil. Blend until smooth, adding cooking liquid as needed until it has a creamy, yogurt-like consistency. Season the purée with salt and black pepper to taste and divide between two warmed plates.

Step 4

Drain the remaining broccoli and place atop the purée. Scatter both plates with the bread crumb mixture, drizzle with more olive oil, and serve.

Reprinted with permission from A Cook's Book: The Essential Nigel Slater by Nigel Slater, copyright © 2023. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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