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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Long-Cooked Broccoli: It's Divine and Versatile

I've always been a broccoli lover, but I find most cooking methods fussy. Woe to the LAZY COOK. Then I discovered this broccoli, which is perfect for the lazy cook.

The first version I made came from a book by Evan Kleiman and Viana LaPlace. I can't remember which book; all are good and worthy of your perusal.

Then I found an even easier method from, to my surprise, Alice Waters. Will I go to h-e-l-l if I admit that I find Waters' public persona rather annoying? Who cares (she certainly doesn't)?

AW's broccoli couldn't be simpler: Chop a bunch of broccoli, trimming woody stems. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a pot; add 6 garlic cloves and some red pepper flakes. Stir and add the broccoli and some salt. Add a cup of water and cover. Keep it at a simmer and stir now and then. After an hour or so, it will be a mush. Add a squirt of lemon if you have any around.

This method is so opposed to the health-food broccoli method drummed into us. I love it for that alone.

What to do with it? Stir it into pasta as a sauce. Serve it on bread as a bruschetta topping. The famous restaurateur Nancy Silverton proposes a sandwich: bread, broc, feta, scrambled egg. This is divine too.

So, to give credit to AW.

Not sure where the sandwich is from. Maybe this one?

Let me know if you try this. Take the leap!


Jane said...

Well that's a new one on me! Most of our broccoli gets cooked in stir-frys. The long-cooked version I could see using as an addition to omlettes but the amount of oil used is a deterrent to me, but it could be steamed and pureed..I'll get back to you:)

SewingLibrarian said...

I like my broccoli crisp to the point of almost raw, so this method doesn't appeal to me. Isn't the smell awful? Just wondering about that...

Duchesse said...

I love this, have done it for years but did not know it was AWs. We also roast it in the oven- toss in olive oil and roast just as we do asparagus.

Darla said...

Well, you'd go to H..l in Berkeley that's for sure. AW is the cooking diva here in her hometown, LOL!

The recipe does sound good but like Jane said, that is a lot of olive oil. Olive oil is supposed to be good for tho you, right?

Funny about Money said...

Hmmm... That is REALLY interesting. I like the garlic cloves part!

I've never been fond of broccoli, though once it's put on my plate, I'll eat it.

Next time I buy some of the plant, I'll definitely try this.

Wonder if it wouldn't work on other veggies...what if you tried it with, say, carrots? or half an anise bulb that still resides in my fridge?

Suzy said...

hmm sounds kinda disgusting but it could pleasantly surprise me! some of ya'll try it and get back to me though I think the olive oil is a bit favorite broccoli is a this broccoli salad recipe with sweetened mayo and some bacon, onion, raisins..there are several variations and a friend of mine is still tweaking to make it lower fat and sugar(hasn't mastered it yet!)

but you know thinking back my mom always liked veggies and she used to do yellow crookneck squash like this broccoli only she used butter - then she'd put it over beans, cornbread, potatoes etc and it was all mushy and I do like that every now and then so maybe you DO have something there!


Frugal Scholar said...

@Jane-It shocked me at first too. I probably used less oil myself, and I probably used plain veggie oil spiked with a little olive oil.

@sewinglibrarian--I was worried about the small myself, but we have a very good exhaust over the stove. It probably smells bad OUTSIDE. It would be worth it in any event. I guess I would light a candle.

@Duchessse--It's not AW's--or at least not originally. Her version is the easiest I've seen.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Darla--I will keep my feelings to myself when I visit SF (which is on the agenda for March!Can't wait).

@Funny--Tried it with cauliflower and it wasn't as good (at least to me). Carrots sound good. Anise? I don't like licorice, so I can't even guess.

@Suzy--I've recently read a similar recipe using zucchini. I think long-cooked veggies are making a comeback!