Charred broccoli with white bean mash and grilled vegetable skewers

This looks so fancy but it is oh, SO, simple. I’ll let you in on a sercret – searing lemon halves is an easy trick to make any plate look gourmet. Do it.

One of our favourite dinners used to be from the Stonesoup – tuna, broccoli and white bean mash. Fast, delicious, healthy and cheap. This is an adaption that subtracts the tuna and adds some grilled vegetable skewers. Call me biased, but I think it’s even better. If you’d like to try the tuna variation, you can find it here.

On Friday night, who wants to spend all night in the kitchen? Believe it or not, not me! And so this recipe is perfect, it’s pulled together in a flash. Chop vegetable chunks, skewer them and brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill. Microwave  a tin of white beans (or heat on the stove) and mash them. Char some broccoli and lemon. DONE. It’s that easy.

Charred broccoli and white bean mash with grilled vegetable skewers (serves 2)


  • 2 skinny little eggplants, chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 5 large button mushrooms, halved
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets and bits of stalk
  • 400g tin of white beans (I used cannellini), mostly drained
  • 1 lemon, halved


  1. Preheat grill or oven to medium-high heat.
  2. Skewer the eggplant and mushrooms – I made four skewers.
  3. Brush the skewers with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. While they’re grilling, heat some olive oil in a skillet, when it’s hot, throw in the broccoli and cover with a lid. Leave for a minute.
  5. Empty the can of white beans into a bowl, with a little bit of canning liquid, and microwave for a few minutes until hot. Mash, salt and pepper.
  6. Stir the broccoli, place the lemon halves face-down on the skillet and cover with the lid again. Leave for another minute.
  7. To serve, spoon mash onto plates, top with broccoli, two skewers and a lemon half. Serve with salt and pepper, and squeeze the lemon over everything to taste.

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