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Broccoli as a meal?

  • l

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.

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  1. I did some broccoli the other night that I tossed in some olive oil, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and garlic salt. Roasted it in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. Quite good.

    7 Replies
    1. re: roro1831

      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.

      1. re: roro1831

        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.

        1. re: another_adam

          Wow...sounds so great...broccoli is on sale this week here for $1.49 for an entire large fresh head...had some last night and then for lunch today...will probably have more tonight...LOL! I've been eating less and less pasta but that sounds really great.

          1. re: Val

            Yeah, not big on the pasta lately either, though a litlte bit of pasta goes a long way in a few crowns of broccoli :) This sauce is also great as a base under some sort of protein, or probably even as the basis of some kind of soup!

          2. re: another_adam

            If I substituted anchovy paste for anchovies, am I looking at about an inch of paste for a "head of broccoli? I'm not shy about fish, just don't want to oversalt!

            1. re: LJS

              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 :)

          3. re: roro1831

            Roasted broccoli is like crack. So good. I like to do it at a higher temp (450-500) for more crispy goodness, but any way you slice it, this is the best way ever to make broccoli.

            1. 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.

              1 Reply
              1. re: nemo

                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.

              2. 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.

                1. 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.

                  1. Broccoli is a wonderfully versatile vegetable. I avoid boiling it because, unless it's cooked for a very short period and remains crisp, boiling extracts too many of the vitamins and minerals from the florets and stems. Steaming is easier to control and because the broccoli isn't immersed in boiling water it extracts fewer of the food value.
                    I serve broccoli topped with a good mayonnaise or sometimes just red wine vinegar and/or a bit of chopped garlic and some olive oil or combinations thereof. I chop it rather fine and include it in soups, casseroles, stews and other dishes. My grandson refused to eat broccoli when he was about two years old. He decided he liked it if he could dip the florets in ice water before each bite. Hey, give the kid some ice water.
                    Broccoli cheese casseroles are wonderful (try adding some lightly crisped bacon pieces to the dish) using a bechamel sauce as a foundation, and including broccoli as part of a roasted vegetable plate is always a nice addition to a meal.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: todao

                      Not to forget (which I did) broccoli salad. Using just the florets and the short sections of stems attached thereto, cut into small pieces (about 1/4 - 3/8 inches in size) and mix with a dressing of mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, sugar (to taste) add some finely chopped red onion, and maybe some chopped nuts (pecans, pistachios or cashews are nice) or perhaps raisins or currants, and add some crisp bacon bits. Mix it all up (not too much dressing, just enough to moisten the mix) and refrigerate covered for an hour or two.
                      Fantastic .....

                    2. Thank you all...I am off to purchase the ingredients to turn my broccoli into something tasty!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LJS

                        LJS, don't overlook the broccoli STEMS...they are fab if you peel away the outer tough coating...inside is crunchy, peppery delight on salads...as a dipper in hummus...stir-fries...there are a few threads on this board too about broccoli stems and how we all enjoy them.

                      2. Steamed...not too soft/mushy, still bright green.
                        Serve with (Yukon Gold) potatoes or potato salad, sweet potatoes, or squash.
                        Serve with quinoa or brown rice (topped with salsa!)
                        Stir fry with carrots, red bell peppers, onion, garlic, snow peas, cashews, add pineapple, or pickled ginger, and tamari.
                        Serve with pasta, artichoke hearts, and hummus.

                        1. On pizza with zucchini, mushrooms, and red bell pepper!

                          1. Some of us like it better with the "bark" of the stem peeled off.

                            1. Chopped up and sauteed with olive oil, garlic and anchovies, then braised a bit with pasta cooking water, served w/ orichette (pasta ear-shaped half-shells) and romano is a revelation!

                              Or broccoli salad as a side: Chopped medium, then mixed with dressing of mayo, apple cider vinegar, a touch of honey, S&P and either crumbled bacon or raisins. It's really, really good!

                              1. did anyone say souffle? A nice cheese souffle w/ some steamed broccoli folded in should make a nice supper.

                                1. Great simple salad/side dish as made by some friends with their own olive oil:

                                  lightly steam or par-boil broc florets and stem pieces

                                  cook bow-tie pasta till al dente, drain and add broccoli

                                  toss with late harvest meyer lemon olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and fresh chopped garlic mashed into a paste with some salt.

                                  top with shaved or grated Parmesan and black pepper.

                                  I could eat it all day. The fresher the broccoli, the better. Farmer's Market or your own garden is best.

                                  1. I had a sample of broccoli 'slaw' and it was GREAT. It was basically cole slaw with shredded broccoli instead of cabbage. Yum!