Adapted fromThe Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
1 1/2 lbs. (about one bunch) broccoli
1/4 c. olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
A fat pinch of dried red pepper flakes
A good sprinkling of salt
1 c. water
Juice and grated zest of one lemon
Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese (optional)
1. Cut/break the broccoli heads into small florets. Trim the ends off the stems, then peel the stems and cut into 1/4" slices.
2. Take a nice heavy pan with a lid and heat the oil over a medium flame. After a moment, add the broccoli, garlic, red pepper, and salt, and sauté for a few minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil.
3. Turn the heat to very low and cover the pot. Cook for about half an hour or forty minutes. The broccoli should be very very tender, indeed falling apart. Uncover and stir vigorously to break everything up into a coarse puree, as pictured. If the puree seems too wet, turn up the heat for a couple of minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and serve, with grated cheese if desired (we like it).
“Here’s my simple side dish recipe. The hardest part was FINDING the veggie…cooking it is EASY! So, whatever it’s called (Chinese broccoli, gai lan, broccolini) get some and eat it! And, remember, DO NOT CUT OFF THE STEMS!! The stems are more tender than the typical broccoli and it’s a bit sweeter."
* 4 cups of Chinese broccoli– rinsed and ends trimmed (but, keep the stems long)
* Half a sweet onion – thinly sliced
* 1 tsp of canola oil
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 2-4 Tbsps. of chicken broth or water
In a large stir fry pan heat the oil on medium high. Add the onion and sauté’ until softened and caramelized (~ 2 min.). Turn the heat to high and add the Chinese broccoli and salt; stir-fry ~ 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium then add a few tablespoons of chicken broth or water and let steam covered with a lid for ~ 5 minutes. Add more liquid if necessary but, just add a little at a time. You want just enough to create steam, but not a sauce. Continue steaming until stems are just tender. But, do not overcook. Chinese broccoli should still be bright green. If it starts “yellowing” it’s cooked too long.
Serve as a side dish with rice, meat, etc. For a more Asian flavor you can also add garlic and ginger to the onion before adding the Chinese broccoli. Enjoy!!