“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” – George H. W. Bush
Well, George H. W., you may have been the president but you sounded like a 5 year old to me!
Me, I love broccoli.
And, broccoli loves us right back…
Broccoli is is a cruciferous vegetable. It is known scientifically as Brassica oleracea. It is related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium. Broccoli also contains more protein than most other vegetables.
In short, we should eat more broccoli.
So, breaking with my usual pattern of roasting broccoli, adding it to soup, making broccoli sauce, or even broccoli rice – today I’m bringing you a banging old-is-new-again way to cook your broccoli – the slow braise.
The beauty of braising this baby in good quality olive oil is that you bring out a buttery intensity of broccoli flavour that is hard to describe.
It’s SO good!
I have fond memories of a Dank Street Depot cafe special from back in the days when I was still dining out with much more frequency and abandon, and Jared Ingersoll had yet to shut up shop (and move to the Tramsheds).
Slow-cooked broccoli and eggs – slow-cooked broccoli with chilli, garlic and white wine, served on scrambled eggs and sourdough toast, and topped with sheep’s milk feta and parsley
Of course, my version has no chilli (no nightshades for this girl!). I’ve also omitted the wine (I live with a a tee-totaler). Sadly, I don’t serve it on sourdough, or with feta – although, I could do a dairy-free scramble since I have successfully reintroduced the humble egg…
Instead, I add some omega-3s by cooking my broccoli isn a combo’ of anchovies and garlic.
The secret to extracting maximum flavour from this dish is a very gentle and long, cook. At the end, if you have taken your time, you will be rewarded with a large platter of gorgeously unctuous and mellow broccoli-flavoured goodness. It really is a thing of beauty.
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 anchovies, mashed
- 1 kg (2¼ lbs) broccoli
- Trim the bottom of your broccoli stems. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove as much of the fibrous outer skin of the skin as you can. Cut the broccoli lengthways, and then again (until you have your preferred size)
- In a large pot, combine the olive oil and sliced garlic. Cook over medium heat until the oil is shimmering and everything is just beginning to get hot and sizzle. Add the anchovies and give a stir.
- When the anchovies begin to melt, add the broccoli and season with salt.
- Pop the lid on your pot, turn the heat as low as it will go and cook for about two hours.
- Every 20 minutes or so, very gently turn the broccoli over to ensure even distribution of oil.
- Serve hot or at room temperature
E N J O Y !
*and yes, I recognise that scientifically speaking, a tomato is a fruit!
This recipe features in the Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable