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Sauce for Steamed Broccoli

One of the sides at Thanksgiving Dinner is Steamed Broccoli. I would like to offer a sauce on the side, however the guests are somewhat health conscience. I would also like to do something a different from a traditional cheese sauce etc. Ideas?

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  1. My first thought is mustard/wine based. But, you could also skip the sauce and grill with crushed garlic, red pepper flakes and parsley. Throw in some wine and allow it to cook off, and garnish with some grated parm. It's really flavorful and still on the healthy side. Sauces always seem to cover up the great taste of broccoli.

    1. If you prepare a basic Bechamel sauce you can easily pick it up rather subtly by adding herb-de-provence (which in my kitchen doesn't mean it necessarily come from that French region but can be a blend of herbs that you develop in your own kitchen) and heat it through to infuse the herb flavor(s). If you don't want to use a blend of herbs, just add a bit of Thyme, Marjoram, or other herb that you feel will compliment your broccoli.

      1. What about just some grated parmesan? It'll melt over the broccoli and you don't need much to add flavor. If you really want a sauce, I'd go with a mustard vinaigrette.

        Instead of steamed, how about roasting? Roasted broccoli with garlic, salt, and olive oil is delicious - no sauce needed.

        1. I like to make a nice lemon sauce for my broccoli. It is light and pretty healthy. You can also switch it up and make it more of an asian sauce by adding garlic and some red pepper flakes.

          4 Replies
          1. re: phimoez

            chowkari and phimoez: both sauces sound great. Do you have any base recipes for those that I can maybe build off of? Unfortunately I'm going to a friends house for dinner and they are serving the broccoli (steamed), they asked for a sauce to go along with it.

            I would love to do some kind of roasted spear, but again, it's not my dinner :)

            1. re: krisrishere

              Here are 2 recipes for this- the first one is more classic and the second one is more Asian. I usally add a bit of heat to it but it's also yummy without.

              3 tablespoon butter
              2 cloves garlic, finely minced
              3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
              salt, to taste
              pepper, to taste, optional
              Steam broccoli until tender but firm, about 5 to 7 minutes. Heat the butter in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat; add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the cooked broccoli, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, cooking briefly to combine.

              Here is the second recipe- It sounds weird with the tea but it is very good!


              1. re: phimoez

                Actually I found a recipe that had both ideas- mustard and lemon. Never tried it but it might be a good combo of each.


              2. re: krisrishere

                Ah.....I see :-)

                Well, I don't know of any off the top of my head, but it looks as though you've gotten some good input!

            2. A classic sauce for steamed broccoli would be Bagna Cauda. A combination of butter, anchovies, olive oil, minced garlic, freshly ground pepper. Heat everything through till the anchovies melt. Add lemon zest.....Pour over the broccoli.....

              2 Replies
              1. re: Gio

                Great recommendation. I think there's a good recipe for this in Summer Suppers @ Lucques.

                1. re: chowkari

                  This is the broccoli I'm making for Thanksgiving this year rather than broccoli and cheese ( a 30 year tradition). The recipe I have calls it Roman Style Broccoli and it is topped with toasted bread crumbs, just like aglio olio. My husband went crazy for it.

              2. In a recent thread about broccoli stems, I got reminded of a recipe on epicurious for roasted broccoli with raisin vinaigrette-- we usually use the sauce on steamed broccoli stems (rather than roasted florets), I think it's probably good on broccoli in any form! (I reduce the oil, I find it a bit too rich/oily otherwise) It is a somewhat particular flavor, though, so might not appeal to all...


                1. Dressing
                  1 tablespoon soy sauce
                  1 tablespoon Korean rice vinegar
                  1 tablespoon pure roasted sesame oil
                  1 tablespoon honey
                  2 inch knob of fresh ginger
                  4 cloves fresh garlic
                  2 tablespoons sesame seeds

                  1 teaspoon coarse ground red chili pepper (chili flakes)

                  Sesame Seeds:–
                  Check for and discard stones and broken kernels (Usually only found in bulk product).

                  Heat a dry skillet/pan over medium high heat, add sesame seeds, and toast until golden browned, stirring often.

                  Remove from heat and let cool.

                  Mix Dressing:
                  Whisk soy sauce, vinegar, oil and honey together in a large bowl until until well mixed.
                  Add ginger, garlic, and 1/2 the sesame seeds and mix well.

                  Let stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to let the flavor develop.

                  Use the other half of the sesame seeds as garnish.

                  From this recipe:

                  1. Two parts soy sauce to one part sesame oil. Add in some chopped garlic and scallions to top it off.

                    Simple, easy, light and healthy.

                    1. Several good replies already!

                      Simple: A small squeeze of lemon. For other acidic choices, a little drizzle of your favorite vinegar, type depending on what else you're serving. By reducing the juice/vinegar you can use it as plate sauce, so people can control how much they want. - and it's pretty too. For a fancy presentation instead put several types of colorful vinegars in glass cruets so they can add what they like.

                      Ipsedixit's soy and sesame oil is great; try topping with toasted sesame seeds, or use less salt but top with gomasio (Sesame seeds and salt ground together). A light touch of freshly grated ginger just before serving is good, too

                      For a different pretty presentation use some colorful finishing salt, like Hawaiin Red, on the edges of the serving bowl - or if plating sprinkle some near the broccoli. Having a salt bowl/pig so they can add what they like is easier.

                      One more: Add toasted walnuts or pecans.

                      1. Wow! Great replies! I might have to make all of these sauces and have a tasting!

                          1. re: alexa52

                            I second Hollandaise. It is a classic over broccoli, and Knorr's version is not bad!

                            1. re: Joebob

                              Hmm, the OP kind of asked for a "health conscious" sauce.

                              Unless you neutered the Hollandaise sauce of butter and egg yolk, it'd be a hard sell ...

                          2. Keep it simple. Melted butter, salt and pepper.