Mar 15, 2010

Long-Cooked Broccoli

You know how sometimes you find those easy meals that are almost too good to be true. Well this is one of them. I found this easy broccoli recipe in the fabulous cook book I'm working from this month. I swear, every single recipe is amazing! I guess I should have expected that, being that it is Alice Waters cookbook, but still.

So, back to the broccoli. I must say I have a love-hate relationship with broccoli. I feel like I should love it raw and crunchy, but I just don't - it must be cooked for me to enjoy. Which is why this recipe is so perfect. And it's easy, making it a perfect weeknight meal. So for anyone who can find broccoli in the stores check this out, and for the rest of you please come find this recipe when your broccoli is in season, I know you won't be disappointed.

I paired the broccoli with whole-wheat pasta and a few toasted slices of baguette on the side. When it was finished cooking, the broccoli was tender and juicy and basically fell apart, making it the perfect pasta "sauce."

Long-Cooked Broccoli with Pasta
adapted from The Art of Simple Food

1 1/2 pounds of broccoli
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes (optional)
1 cup broth (I used chicken broth, vegetable broth or water could also be used)
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 pound pasta (I used whole-wheat spaghetti)
Parmesan cheese as desired

Thoroughly wash the broccoli florets and cut off the dry end of the stems. Peel the rest of the stems and divide or chop the florets into small pieces. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Add the broccoli, garlic, chile flakes and a pinch of salt to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 1 cup of broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot tightly and cook until very tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add more broth if the broccoli starts to dry out, continue to stir occasionally.

After the broccoli has cooked for about 30 minutes cook your pasta in a pot of heavily salted boiling water. Drain well.

When the broccoli is very tender (basically falling apart) stir in the lemon juice. Put it together placing the pasta in a bowl then grating a little fresh Parmesan cheese on the pasta. Top with the cooked broccoli. Taste for seasoning and add lemon juice, salt or oil as needed. Final sprinkle with a touch more cheese.

Stats: serves 4.
Time: this took just over an hour from start to finish, but most of the time the broccoli was cooking so I wasn't standing over the stove the whole time.
Seasonal ingredients: I used California broccoli florets, a lemon from the neighbors tree, and garlic cloves from the farm last summer.

happy healthy cooking,


Thea said...

Hi Alison, your blog looks great. I have now featured it on mine. x

Alison Clayshulte said...

Thanks so much Thea! I'm so excited to be featured on your blog. I love it. I can't believe your in Brisbane, do you know Stephanie Bond of Bondville? She's a good friend of mine. From the looks of your blog, you guys would definitely have stuff to talk about! Can't wait to read more from Thea & Sami.

Thea said...

Yes, I do know Steph. It's a small community here in Brissie and I have spoken to her at various markets and blog meet-ups that she arranges here.