Food Friday: Broccoli

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Fun facts to know and tell: broccoli has as much calcium, by weight, as milk. And yet, it is a much livelier color, especially after you steam it. With only three more weeks until summer officially starts, you should be working on your repertoire of simple summer foods that are tasty and nutritious, and won’t keep you in the kitchen a moment longer than is necessary.

You can steam broccoli in five minutes. Which leaves you plenty of time to go back to streaming Fleabag. Fact #2: the longer you steam broccoli, the more nutrients you lose. Which means we shouldn’t follow our mothers’ rules for boiling broccoli into submission. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9

You can grill it, too. Which will take it outdoors. In our house, cooking outdoors means that Mr. Friday takes over the cooking responsibilities. Grilled and roasted broccoli are his new passions. The smarties at Bon Appétit have a recipe that he just loves for steak and roasted broccoli: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pan-roasted-steak-with-crispy-broccoli. He is also a sucker for doing steak indoors in a cast iron pan these days. I have found him reading recipes online, which he enthusiastically abandons in favor of his innate instincts about these matters. And mostly he pulls off his experiments, for which I applaud him. I do my fair share, washing up behind him. He generates a lot of dirty pots and pans in his creative cooking frenzies.

Mr. Friday’s Spicy Hot Grilled Broccoli

INGREDIENTS (Mr. Friday eyeballs all of these measurements, and you should, too.)
3 – 4 crowns fresh broccoli
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 – 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 tablespoon Maldon salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Clean the broccoli and remove from the stalks. Put broccoli in large bowl and add olive oil. Stir lightly to coat the broccoli with oil. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Stir again.

Set the grill temp to high. Use a sheet of aluminum foil or we have a perforated pan for grilling vegetables. Lay the foil (or pan) on the grill, and spread the broccoli. Close the grill lid, and cook at high heat for 8-10 minutes. Voilà! C’est bon!

When they were little it was hard to persuade our children to eat broccoli. They had a sixth sense about avoiding steamed broccoli, but sometimes we could persuade them to try it with a tasty side of ranch dressing. They are too sophisticated now to fall for bottled salad dressing, but I bet they would try these dips:

Basic Vinaigrette
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oi
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Maldon salt
Pepper

Combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in an old mayo jar. Cover and shake to dissolve the salt. Add the olive oil and shake to blend. Taste for seasoning.Keep in the fridge for other salad and vegetable needs.

Greek Tzatziki
Mix Greek yogurt with olive oil, chopped cucumber, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Wowser.

Even Martha weighs in with a simple honey mustard dip for raw vegetables: https://www.marthastewart.com/339751/vegetables-with-honey-mustard-dip

And these recipes are not just for the younger set, they are also good for cocktail hours, when you are having a cold drink with friends and want to lessen your existential angst and ward off cancer. The virtue of broccoli!

“Listen to your broccoli and it will tell you how to eat it.”
― Anne Lamott

About Jean Sanders

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