Grilled Broccoli with Lemon and Parmesan

(from largomason’s recipe box)

Nicely charred grilled broccoli is a summertime barbecue treat, but most often it is overly charred or not cooked through. To avoid toughness and promote even cooking, we peeled the stems and pared the broccoli crowns down to florets measuring 3 to 4 inches wide and stems ½ to ¾ inch thick. To cook the broccoli through without charring, we wrapped it in aluminum foil “hobo packs” and let it steam first on the grill (flipping the packs halfway through to ensure even cooking). We then removed the spears and placed them directly on the grill to char. Grilled lemon halves added brightness and grill flavor while shredded Parmesan provided a salty bite.



  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Cut two 26 by 12-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Whisk oil, water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl.

  2. Trim stalk ends so each entire head of broccoli measures 6 to 7 inches long. Using vegetable peeler, peel away tough outer layer of broccoli stalks (about ⅛ inch). Cut stalks in half lengthwise into spears (stems should be ½ to ¾ inch thick and florets 3 to 4 inches wide). Add broccoli spears to oil mixture and toss well to coat.

  3. Divide broccoli between sheets of foil, cut side down and alternating direction of florets and stems. Bring short sides of foil together and crimp tightly. Crimp long ends to seal packs tightly.

  4. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

  5. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium-high. (Adjust burners as needed to maintain grill temperature around 400 degrees.)

  6. Clean and oil cooking grate. Arrange packs evenly on grill (over coals if using charcoal), cover, and cook for 8 minutes, flipping packs halfway through cooking.

  7. Transfer packs to rimmed baking sheet and, using scissors, carefully cut open, allowing steam to escape away from you. (Broccoli should be bright green and fork inserted into stems should meet some resistance.)

  8. Discard foil and place broccoli and lemon halves cut side down on grill (over coals if using charcoal). Grill (covered if using gas), turning ­broccoli about every 2 minutes, until stems are fork-tender and well charred on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. (­Transfer ­broccoli to now-empty sheet as it finishes cooking.) Grill lemon halves until well charred on cut side, 6 to 8 minutes.

  9. Transfer broccoli to cutting board and cut into 2-inch pieces; transfer to platter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon over broccoli to taste, sprinkle with Parmesan, and drizzle with extra oil. Serve.

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