Broccoli as a meal?
I am persuaded that broccoli is good for me, but it leaves me cold. Literally, I steam it, put it on the plate, with some butter or olive oil and garlic, roll it around, then put the leftovers into the fridge until I can throw it away again.
But I am trying to build more meals around veggies. I have learned to love sweet potatoes (mmm-baked then dressed with feta cheese, hot peppers and cilantro), squash (mmm-with tomato sauce, sage butter or ginger-marmalde) and mushrooms (mmm-just about anyway you can imagine).
But broccoli?...please, Broccoli lovers out there...inspire me.
Listen to roro....roasted broccoli is great!
If you have broccoli with a baked potato, that's a pretty nice and healthy meal and you could jazz it up with cheese if needed. Last night, I made some broccoli with chickpeas, garlic, and tomato sauce for a pretty quick dinner...I could have put it over pasta or rice but I ate it plain with a sprinkle of parm cheese.
Ooh, also, what about stir-fry? With red bell pepper, broccoli is really super.
This combination also makes fantastic pasta sauce-- roast or boil some broccoli, then toss it in a pan with olive oil, garlic, anchovy, pepper flakes, and some water from the pasta that you're boiling at the same time. You can leave it in pieces, or even cook it until it falls apart and makes a sauce for the pasta. Dump in the drained pasta, add enough salt and a sprinkle of parmesan.
I'd say that sounds like a good starting point to me! I'd probably go for a bit more, but good to try it and see. I find that the broccoli sauce, particularly if you're using it with pasta, does require more salt than you'd expect-- I often find myself adding some, even after I've added the cheese. So chances are it won't get too salty from the anchovy, but I'd just taste it and discover about how much you like :)
inspiration to get you started:
Broccoli soup is delicious. Cook the separated florets in chicken stock until just just tender crisp. Remove from stock. Peel and chop the stems, cook in the stock with sauteed onions and celery until soft, puree. Add the florets back in. Add some light roux to thicken or half & half or cream, if you want. Salt and pepper, of course, but any other seasoning you like. A dash of nutmeg is good. Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan.
Another way to do broccoli soup:
1. Peel a potato and slice it very, very thin.
2. Peen an onion and slice it very, very thin.
3. Put a pan on very, very low heat and put in some butter or olive oil. Put the potato and the onion in the pan, cover, and sweat them for maybe 15 minutes. If they show signs of sticking, stir them a few times.
5. Meanwhile, cut up the broccoli -- stems into thin slices and florets into little pieces.
6. Add the broccoli to the pan, and about a quart of chicken stock. I use the boxed stock from Trader Joe's. Turn the heat up to high.
7. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and let it boil gently for half an hour.
8. Puree it with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender. Puree it until it as smooth as you can get it.
9. Return the pureed soup to the pan and heat it up. Add salt and pepper as needed. About 5 minutes before you're ready to serve, add a quarter cup or so of milk (optional).
The potato gives the soup a very nice mouth feel, and the combination of the broccoli and onion flavors is terrific. You can also do this kind of soup with other green vegetables -- e.g., asparagus (very good), or with, say, some kind of winter squash.
You ca roast it in the oven until crispy just like cauliflower. It's really quite good, it's one way I get hubs to eat more veggies. You can stir fry it with soy, garlic, ginger. You can add black bean sauce to it as well. If you're not a vegetarian, broccoli and beef stir fry with oyster sauce is pretty tasty on rice.
My husband likes roasted vegetables, but not broccoli or cauliflower. There are only two ways he will eat broccoli, and in great abundance: cream of broccoli soup (I make it with Velveeta) or baked with Velveeta and Ritz cracker crumbs soaked in butter. Do you notice a trend? Maybe something cheesy will help though.