Photo: James Ransom

steady diet of hot dogs and s’mores is a perfectly fine (short term) camping meal plan. But if you want to step up your live fire game, author and Texas Highways contributor Paula Disbrowe’s cookbook Any Night Grilling provides inspired recipe ideas. The simple yet decadent Broccoli Spears with Crispy Cheese Crust makes an ideal side dish for a hearty cut of meat. “This recipe is great for camping because of its short ingredient list, and it’s easy enough for novice grillers to prepare,” Disbrowe says. “The final shower of grated Parmesan creates a crispy cheese crust that will have everyone reaching for seconds.”


  • 2 heads broccoli
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or chopped dried arbol chiles (stemmed and seeded)
  • plus more as desired for heat
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely grated Parmesan, Asiago
  • aged cheddar, or Gouda
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire, or heat a gas grill to high. Carefully wipe the preheated grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again. Preheat a cast-iron skillet for 10 minutes before cooking.
  2. While the grill heats, use a paring knife to trim the bottom inch or two of the heads of broccoli and peel the stems. Slice the broccoli heads into long spears (the florets should be attached to a long portion of stem). Place any florets that break loose in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the spears with olive oil and season with salt, black pepper, and chile.
  3. Grill the broccoli over direct heat until evenly charred, 4 to 6 minutes per side, moving to indirect heat as needed to prevent the stalks from burning. Grill any small broccoli florets that break loose in the preheated cast-iron skillet, tossing often, until browned and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the spears to the cast-iron skillet and place on the grill grate over direct heat. Sprinkle with cheese, close the grill, and cook until the cheese is melted and the broccoli is crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges. Serves 2-4.
From the May 2019 issue

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