Brocolli and Breadcrumb Salad / Insalata di Broccoli con la Mollica

BROCCOLI AND BREADCRUMB SALAD / Insalata di Broccoli con la Mollica

A very popular dish, widespread throughout Sicily that explains why it can be found in dozens of variations from city to city or even from house to house. Brown breadcrumbs are better than white for this tasty dish from southern Italy. I make my soft crumbs in a food processor, a very quick job. You can use cauliflower instead of broccoli.” Anna Del Conti

Credit: Adapted from a recipe by Anna Del Conti in her book: “Italian Kitchen” and


  • 450 g broccoli
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp good olive oil for cooking
  • 100 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 10 g of pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 20 g of raisins
  • 14 black olives, stoned and cut in half
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Divide the broccoli into small florets. Cut them into small pieces. Blanch the florets and pieces of stalk in boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Drain into a colander and hold the florets under running cold water for two seconds to cool. Transfer to a tray lined with kitchen paper to dry. When dry, transfer to a serving bowl and add 2 tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil. Toss gently using 2 forks, rather than spoons, as they are less likely to break the florets. Cover and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, soak the raisins in hot water for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil on a low heat in a frying pan and add the breadcrumbs and the garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring to coat them with the oil.
  5. Add all the raisins and the pine nuts to the bread mixture in the pan and stir. Add the olives and cook for another minute or so, stirring frequently, until the breadcrumbs are slightly charred and crispy. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.
  6. Toss half the breadcrumb mixture into the broccoli and mix with the two forks. Then spoon the rest of the breadcrumb mixture over the top and smooth with a spatula.
  7. Serve warm.

Ros from Birmingham, UK used the recipe and sent me her review. 01-09-2019.
“Hi John
Did your dishes for a friend on Friday – she liked them so much she wants the recipes 😊
Anyway, I followed the broccoli recipe as written,  although I did reduce the amount of olive oil.
Friend’s dog was very disappointed as there were no leftovers 🐶
Pix herewith …

Greco Roman Theatre and Mount Etna, Taormina, Sicily

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