I’ve procrastinated long enough. I must launch my blog with a recipe, bite the broccoli and get started. I decided to develop a simple 2 pot recipe for my maiden voyage. So, I have no more excuses. I will now be sharing my recipes, thoughts, stories and experiences on a regular basis. I’m feeling a little rinky dink about the photos and website (Help! I need a domain name! Something catchy that suits what I do)etc. but I must cast those feelings aside and forge ahead. So without further ado:
Broccoli Meets Garlic
I’m taking inspiration from a wonderful blogger that I follow, Aimee Borque at Simple Bites. She posted about Roasted Vegetable Spaghetti and it made me think of how many of us are crunched for time but still want to eat fresh and healthy food. I like it when food is simple, tasty and easy to make but it’s also great if I can get away with using less equipment and therefore create fewer dishes too! The kids are settling in to school and I’m adjusting to the new schedule too so it’s nice to have a quick and easy dish to fall back on when I get frazzled at the end of the day.
Broccoli is one of the vegetables that my kids have no problem eating. I know that’s not the case for us all (I think it’s a texture thing) but done this way broccoli really shines. It’s not water logged from being boiled and you don’t run the risk of over cooking it nearly as much as steaming or boiling. You also trap in a lot more of the nutrients this way instead of tossing them down the drain with the blanching water. I’ve been cooking garlic this way a lot lately, in the husk so it roasts and caramelizes. You can squish it out on your plate in the end and add bursts of garlliky flavor to your dish.
I’m big on getting every bit of flavor out of my ingredients and one way to do that is to caramelize. Roasting is one of my favorite ways to do this but today it’s hot here in California and I don’t want to turn on my oven. So, I thought instead I’d use the dutch oven. Also known as crock pot, pot au feu, stew pot etc. Basically a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid. I have a red one made of cast iron and coated in enamel. If you don’t have one I recommend making the investment. They can be pricy but they last for ever and quickly become your kitchen’s favorite work horse.
Broccoli Meets Garlic
1 large or 2 small crowns of brocolli
4 small garlic cloves (husks left on)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound spaghetti
1 half lemon
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (optional)
Put a pot of water on to boil for you spaghetti. Cut the broccoli florettes into small pieces. If you wash them, make sure they are completely dry before cooking. Place your dutch oven over medium low heat and add the olive oil and butter (you can use only oil if you want but I like the taste combination and the added oil helps the butter not to burn). Once the oil and butter have melted add the brocolli, garlic and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until caramelized and tender, stirring every 3-5 minutes. Once the water comes to a boil, add salt and spaghetti. The spaghetti and broccoli should be done around the same time. When pouring off the spaghetti reserve about 1/4 cup of the cooking water and add to the broccolli with the drained spaghetti. Squeeze half a lemon over the top and continue to cook all the ingredients for one minute more. Adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with red pepper flakes sprinkled on top.