My friend and colleague the Foodinista recently raved about Nancy Silverton’s slow cooked broccoli recipe, admitting it wooed even her, a broccoli agnostic. She posted about it on her excellent blog The Foodinista.
I’m anything but a broccoli agnostic, probably buying 2 pounds of fresh broccoli from the farmer’s market each week, steaming, roasting, sauteeing, pureeing, even making salads out of its stems. Growing up on supermarket stuff, I was blown away by the sweetness and subtle complexity of just harvested California farmer’s market broccoli, with a full stem with a sweet tender heart, and earthy but in no way bitter florets. We’re always looking for new ways of getting broccoli on to the dinner plate and I’m dying to try the slow braise. I told the Foodinista I’d share my new favorite technique: julienning the broccoli, then sauteeing it over medium high heat in a fair amount of olive oil flavored with garlic.
4 or so big broccoli
several tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
a pinch of chile pepper flakes
salt and pepper
peel the stems of the broccoli with a vegetable peeler
chop the stems off, then julienne lengthwise as thin as possible
julienne the florets, so they no longer resemble the famously kid-friendly “little trees” shape. You want them so thin that they mostly break down in the hot olive oil but still hold a bit of their shape
heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a large sautee pan over medium high heat
add the garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes
Add the broccoli, salt, and pepper, and let sit for a few minutes to caramelize a bit
Continue cooking, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes, until broccoli is just tender, sweet, savory, and lovely
Use however you’d like: as a side dish, tossed with pasta, in a frittata, whatever.
I tossed it with barilla pasta plus penne and served with sliced duck breast, but the kids weren’t crazy for that, so they just ate the penne and broccoli with gusto.