Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Easy Lemon Broccoli

I'm sure this is a standard method in which to cook broccoli or any vegetable for that matter, but I just winged it the other night with no recipe to refer to. I know, I'm such a little dare devil sometimes. But seriously, broccoli can be so boring and I find myself not serving it a whole lot because it's not as tasty as I'd like it to be. Not anymore. Broccoli has it's groove back in my house and it was welcomed, even by the children with open arms.

I like it this way because it's fresh and delicately flavorful with out being weighed down with butter, which some people do, or cheese. Now I'm not hating on the cheese and broccoli thing. I make a roasted broccoli with Parmesan which is a real winner, but sometimes you just want something lighter...fresher. This is it. I like to have my ingredients chopped and ready to go before I boil the broccoli. That way while it's boiling I can make my "sauce" quickly and the whole dish is ready and hot at the same time. Make this just before sitting down to dinner. It takes less than 10 minutes start to finish if you have your water boiling and waiting for you.

Easy Lemon Broccoli

serves 4-6

3 medium broccoli heads
2 fat garlic cloves, minced
zest of 1 whole lemon
juice from 1/2- 1 whole lemon, depending on your taste. (I use the whole thing)
2 tablespoons olive oil or grape seed oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 a lemon cut in half moons for garnish (optional)
Kosher salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a few hefty pinches of salt. This will flavor the broccoli from the inside out. Separate the broccoli heads into florets, chop your garlic and zest your lemon. When the water is at a boil, add the florets into the pot and boil for 3-4 minutes, just until the broccoli is bright green and fork tender but still has a little bite to it. In essence, don't over cook! meanwhile melt the butter and oil together in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Don't let the broccoli get brown. Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the lemon zest and red pepper flakes if using. Set the pan off the heat if need be while you strain the broccoli, so as not to burn anything. Add the cooked broccoli to the pan, and the lemon juice and lemon pieces if using. Add a pinch of salt and toss to combine either off the heat or on low heat.

If the broccoli gets too hot while tossing, it will turn brown which can make it taste bitter so that is why I say to combine everything off the heat. This is a perfect addition to a weeknight dinner with some blackened fish or baked chicken and a baked potato. There I go meal planning for you again. Sorry. You can make it with whatever you like. Fancy that!

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