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What to do with Broccoli?

I'm cooking rosemary and garlic lamb chops with couscous for dinner. I have broccoli as a green veggie. Whatcha got?

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  1. Hmmm.....broccoli with rosemary, eh?

    I would be inclined to use olive oil, garlic and sea salt, and then sauté the broccoli in the mix. Very simple, but solid and delicious. I'm assuming the couscous is flavoured with something and that you might not want another strong flavour on the plate.

    I've heard people go on at length about roasted broccoli, it's never really turned my crank.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mrbunsrocks

      Funny, roasted broccoli was just what I was going to suggest. I like to roast it with a bit of olive oil till it's a bit brown in places, then serve with a squeeze of lemon.

      1. re: GretchenS

        I know. I was so stoked to try it out after hearing people wax poetic about the magic of it....and I hated it! I like the lemon idea though. Perhaps I should try 'er out again.... :)

        1. re: mrbunsrocks

          I'm an avid broccoli roaster (as well as asparagus and cauliflower and a lot of other veggies, but I digress). I've had great success with whisking together a mixture of olive oil, lemon zest + a little juice, red pepper flakes and either anchovy paste finely minced anchovy fillets, then tossing the broccoli with the mixture and roasting it. The anchovy adds a lot of depth and just the right amount of salt. Also, any leftovers are great tossed with pasta with a sprinkling of grated Parm or Pecorino (I usually make a double batch to ensure leftovers).

          1. re: adroit_minx

            I like roasting it, too. Just use a teaspoon or two of olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. I toss it around and that's it. I've also done it with Montreal Steak Seasoning and oil and that's great, too.

    2. I'm a big believer in simple steamed broccoli. Must be perfectly steamed, still bright green, tender but with a bit of "al dente" left in it. When it comes out of the steamer, I usually toss it with (just a very little) butter, fresh lemon juice and pecorino romano. Sometimes I steam the broccoli with slivers of garlic. Right after college I was a nanny for a year, and this was the only way the kids would eat broccoli. I find that sauteed broccoli never really gets tender enough for my taste.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ballulah

        The way to get around the tenderness issue is to blanch the broccoli in some boiling water for a little while (I never time anything...maybe thirty seconds) to soften it before stir-frying.

      2. I love the old NYT recipe for Sicilian Broccoli. It is steamed broccoli dressed with a sauce made from anchovies and cheese.

        Melt 2 Tbs. butter in a saucepan. Add 1 Tbs. finely chopped shallot, 1 minced clove of garlic and cook untilshallot is translucent. Sprinkle 1.5 Tbs. AP flour over shallots and butter. Cook for a minute whisking and then stir in 1 C. hot chicken stock. Cook until thickened and the sauce has come to a boil then reduce heat and add 4 minced anchovies, 1/2 C. sliced olives,freshly ground black pepper and 2 C. cheese. Mozerella, sharp cheddar, provolone...whatever pleases you. Dress broccoli with the sauce and serve.

        That stuff made canned green beans taste good when we were making it to take to a friends house and forgot to bring along the broccoli.

        1. i like mine just steamed with a touch of garlic salt and some parmesan on it... but i'm not sure if that would go with your dinner

          1. I'm a steamed fan too - then toss with good OO, S&P, dash of fresh lemon juice, no fuss no muss.

            1. I love it steamed, dressed with olive oil, garlic, vinegar, s&p and herb of choice, then chilled and served as a salad. I often chop up some shallots and add em.

              1. I was never happy with my broccoli till I figured out how to steam it just right. I use a very big pot, so that there's still a lot of space above the top broccoli, allowing the steam to accumulate there and cook the top layer evenly with the rest. Peel and cut the broccoli according to what works best for the particular bunch. Set olive oil and garlic on low-medium in a large fry pan to gently cook the garlic and infuse the olive oil with the garlic, too. At the same time, I put about a half-inch of water in the bottom of my very large pot and set the cut up broccoli to steam, lid on. It's important not to lift the lid too much, as that lets the steam out, but it's also important not to overcook the broccoli so it's a grey soggy mush. As soon as the broccoli is crisp-tender and still bright green, take the pieces out of the steaming pot and add them to the olive oil and garlic mixture. Season, to taste, with sea salt. Can be served warm or room temperature.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Full tummy

                  Hi Full tummy, what kind of a steamer are you using? I have an old Revere ware steamer that looks and fits like a double boiler on my medium size saucepan. It steams everything beautifully and nice and far from the steaming water below.

                  I also have a two tiered bamboo steamer which is lots of fun to use.

                  1. re: ballulah

                    Hi Ballulah, Your steamer sounds so glamorous! I have a couple of metal basket steamers which I find awkward, but they work. I never have more than a centimetre of water in my pot when steaming, so pretty much anything keeps the veggies out of the water. Glad to hear you've figured out how to get kids to eat their veggies.

                2. I love steamed broccoli as well. But recently, I made a dish of broccoli, steamed ever so quickly in really roiling steam, and then sauteed with garlic. It lost a bit of the vibrancy of the green, but the texture sldo loses the crispness which one of my vegetarian friends can't stand. It's even better with soy sauce stir fried in, though you might not want it for this meal.

                  1. I'm a huge fan of roasted broccoli. I cut it into long pieces and add tons of chopped garlic, chili powder and olive oil then toss it on a baking sheet and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. It takes on a nutty flavor from roasting.

                    I've also enjoyed broccoli cooked in a pan with some oil and garlic so the edges get brown and then at the end I add a splash of vinegar.

                    1. One suggestion: as an alternative to lemoon juice, try lemon zest. Really nice. I usually steam mine a bit or blanch first then briefly sautee with garlic, maybe red pepper flakes and finish with lemon zest. Even better with Broc Raab.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: prunefeet

                        I like the above method, too, although I serve it as sort of marinated broccoli. steam then sautee in garlic and a bit of broth. squeeze plenty of lemon, and add slices directly to the broccoli. add salt and olive oil to taste. let sit in the fridge for as long as you like, it's even better the next day.

                      2. If you chop the cooked broc you could incorporate into the couscous with some parm cheese and OO

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: jenniebnyc

                          ok, next challenge: I have a freezer filled with 8 large bags of frozen broccoli (called "cuts," florets and stems). I ordered a case from my food coop believing my kids would eat it-- no luck; they've been spoiled by our local farmstands' broccoli and say "yuk" to frozen organic cascadian farm. so... what to do? broccoli soup, i guess? any other ideas where that nice fresh broccoli texture is not essential? and, any good broccoli soup suggestions? i've never made one! thanks for the help.

                          1. re: lodgegirl

                            we made a broccoli casserole over Thansgiving. The first of many unhealthy dishes that began the holidays. but, it was good.

                            it calls for cream of mushroom soup, cheddar cheese and a ritz cracker topping. i am pretty sure it is on the back of the campbells soup can.

                            another suggestion is a broc quiche or fritatta

                            1. re: jenniebnyc

                              We make a broccoli casserole that is similar but after tossing the broccoli in the cream of mushroom soup(low fat fine) mixed with 1/2 cup skim milk, we top with Bisquick (low fat version) mixed up until it's crumbly with 2 tbs butter, then sprinkle some cheedar cheese over the Bisquick. Bake until cheese is melted and top slightly browned (about 20 mins at 375) It's something my family looks forward to because I don't make it that often.

                            2. re: lodgegirl

                              A delicious soup that's supposed to be made with broccoli rabe, but H doesn't like broccoli rabe, so I usually make it with broccoli. Since you're using frozen, it won't need to cook too long.

                              Saute a lot of onions in butter until soft. Add chicken broth. Bring to boil, add broccoli. Cook until broccoli is done. Puree (I use an immersion blender), add buttermilk to taste, s & p.

                              I also use frozen broccoli when I make soup using whatever veggies I have in fridge and/or freezer. It pretty much disintegrates, making for an unbeautiful soup unless everything else in it is green, but adds great flavor.

                              1. re: JRL

                                mmmm... buttermilk. sounds interesting. will definitely try this. thanks!

                              2. re: lodgegirl

                                A very fine orecchiette with broccoli can be made with frozen broccoli. It sounds complicated, but it's very simple.

                                1) Boil (amply) salted water, dump in broccoli (cut up fine, or if frozen, just from the bag), cook until tender

                                2) Meanwhile, heat oil in a second large pan, and toast some garlic slices to flavor the oil. (Remove if desired, or simply leave in). Can also throw in a few anchovies, if desired.

                                3) With a strainer, scoop, broccoli out of water and into the oil in the pan, along with a bit of the cooking water. (I add the water first to reduce sizzling/splattering.) This will become the sauce.

                                4) Now put the pasta into boiling water to cook

                                5) While the pasta is cooking, continue to stir and break up the broccoli pieces, adding more water from the pasta pot as necessary. Orecchiette take a while to cook, and I personally break up the broccoli until it is almost completely fallen apart. (Italians typically aren't afraid of cooking veggies till limp)

                                6) When the orecchiette are done, drain them and toss them into the pan (or mix all in the pot, if your pan is too small). Add crushed red pepper and salt to taste (it takes more than you might think), and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan at the table.

                            3. I would go with roasted, but I would do a bit different.

                              First microwave it for about 2 and a half minutes with a little water. It should be a little softer but not limp.
                              Dry it completely toss with oil, garlic, salt. Roast at high heat, I use 375 convection. Toss every 10 minutes until it's brown and crisp. It basically becomes almost as crisp as a french fry, kids will generally eat it, you might have to lower the garlic contact to taste.

                              1. I steam mine in the microwave (just a 1/2 inch or so of water in the bottom of your microwave dish that you are cooking them in), start at 1 minute and keep checking every 30 seconds to ensure they aren't overcooked.
                                Then mix w/good quality olive oil; or my favorite, a lemon infused olive oil, some salt and freshly cracked pepper.

                                1. Soup. Boil the broccoli in salted water until tender. Strain the pieces, reserve the water. Puree, adding reserved water until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Simple, but broccolicious.

                                  1. I made a really delicious cauliflower soup as a first course for one of many holiday dinners recently, and I was thinking about adapting the recipe for broccoli. I think your frozen broccoli might work well in this case. Saute some sliced leeks and fresh thyme on olive oil until the leeks are nicely sweated, add the broccoli and continue to saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add a cup of white wine and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add a whole "carton" of low salt chicken stock and a little half and half. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30-40 minutes and then puree. Stir in a generous hit of cayenne pepper and maybe a little nutmeg.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: ballulah

                                      sounds perfect! lots of good flavors. i'll make this over the weekend for sure, using some yum turkey stock i made over the holidays. do you puree the whole thing, or do you puree just half and stir it into what's left of the sort-of chunky soup? thanks so much for the suggestion.

                                      1. re: lodgegirl

                                        I usually puree the whole thing so that it is creamy. It seems a bit more sophisticated that way. I love broccoli and cauliflower, but in a soup situation they just seem to have a strange texture to leave in chunks, just a bit off-putting, especially with broccoli being so "frilly" it's almost like finding something that shouldn't be there in the soup.

                                        1. re: ballulah

                                          I'm with you on the weirdness of "frilly" items in soup, so i'll puree for sure. my husband, however, can't get beyond the baby food issue with pureed food in general, so i may leave some half chunky for him. i am sauteing the leeks right now, in fact... just came back to double check your recipe. thanks again.

                                          1. re: lodgegirl

                                            How did it turn out? One way to get over the baby food thing is to add the garnish that Bon Appetit had with the original cauliflower recipe, I omitted it when I made the soup. They had matchstick slivers of curried apple on top. The recipe was the FIRST one in a very recent Bon Appetit, in the RSVP section. I checked, and it's not on Epicurious, but it was either Nov/Dec/Jan issue.

                                            Or maybe some crispy shallots.

                                            1. re: ballulah

                                              sorry it took so long to respond... the soup was really, really delicious and I took the opportunity to demonstrate that MY bowl of soup (creamy and completely pureed) was in fact far more satisfying in terms of mouth-feel than HIS (half-pureed, half frilly/chunky) bowl. he agreed! so thank you on two counts.
                                              I made the soup yesterday, again yummy.
                                              next time i might garnish... fried shallots is a wonderful idea.

                                    2. Marcella Hazan has simple but excellent recipe for Broccoli sauted w/ garlic. Tim the tough green skin off the stalks; boil for 3-5 minutes until tender. Then saute in olive oil and garlic immediately before serving.

                                      1. Three things I do with broccoli (mainly...mostly...) Stir fries, steam with a little butter and salt...or put them in a cheese sauce and broil as a casserole (definitely family favourite).

                                        Cream of broccoli soup is nice too.....

                                        1. I like little florets of broccoli and cauliflower, sprinkle with kosher salt, and roasted together at high heat (450 or so) for 10-15 minutes. Toss with a little bit of lemony vinaigrette and serve warm or at room temp. (If you don't salt enough -- about 1/2 t. per small head -- it's bland.)

                                          1. I take broccoli, stir fry it with either pasta sauce or canned tomatoes, garlic, S & P and red pepper flakes (sometimes I add chopped up bacon or turkey bacon too). Then add parm on top...very filling meal.

                                            1. I've got the perfect (and somewhat elegant) recipe for Broccoli. I just did it for xmas dinner and everyone loved it. It's pretty simple too.

                                              Broccoli Rolled in Filo

                                              You can either steam your broccoli or saute in some butter and olive oil (just til almost done), then take it off the heat, mix in your favorite cheeses (I like shredded parmasian, motzorella and feta - about 1/4 cup of each), wisk up an egg, add that in. Now take about 3 or 4 sheets of filo dough, brush it with melted butter, sprinkle with bread crumbs - then add the broccoli mix. Roll this up by tucking in the ends (like a jelly roll). Brush the outside with a little more butter - bake 350 until lightly brown (about 20 - 30 min). Then slice it.

                                              (I bet it would be awesome with a holandaise sauce on the side too)

                                              I've added garlic and my favorite spices before. I've omitted hte feta and it was great. I've added cottage cheese with parmasian and motzerella and it was great. I've also added other vegies like shredded carrots, etc. This can be what you want but broccoli works very well and it looks very nice on a platter after slicing it - more creative way of serving vegies.

                                              good luck.

                                              1. i love broccoli with eggs, like in a frittata, with either roasted peppers or potatoes.

                                                1. I have no idea what possessed him, but my uncle pureed olive oil, cooked broccoli, and garlic (and probably a couple other things--a cheese maybe?) to make a sauce for pasta. It was a creepy green color, but it was velvety and tasted wonderful.

                                                  Weirdest pasta sauce I'd ever seen, but darn tasty.

                                                  1. Stir-fried broccoli with lots of garlic, ginger, and shitake mushroom.

                                                    1. I made a souffle of eggs, flour, cheese and chopped brocolli before. It could of stood on its own for the main meal with a salad on the side.

                                                      1. Broccoli salad is a classic. Best add-ins: dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese and toasted sunflower seeds.

                                                        My mom makes a couple awesome broccoli dishes. One is a rice casserole/cake - brown rice and chopped broccoli bound together with egg and parmigiano, topped with breadcrumbs and baked in a tart pan. Another is pasta with broccoli and pesto. (When my dad makes it, he adds potatoes, but I'm not into the double-starch.)

                                                        1. I'm the OP on this thread and I wanted all you "roasted broccoli" advocates to know that I (skeptically) tried it and am a completely convert. Everyone LOVED it, and none of us were huge broccoli fans. It was delicious, and I RARELY use that description for green vegetables. (I'm a Brown Food Fan, generally speaking.)

                                                          Thanks and looking forward to trying some of the other variations here!