Bruce’s beautiful broccoli dish

You may not have known but I am married to not only a wonderful composer, but a wonderful cook. Because he’s such a brilliant orchestrator of his own music, that attention to detail works wonders with his food preparations too. He just knows how to combine flavors, textures, tweak, and make all his food look and taste stunning.
This recipe he makes up, so I have had to stand over him and catch the ingredients as he throws them into the bowl, then measure them and give them back to him to re-throw. It has taken several times to get it right and he continues to tweak the recipe but to me, there is no better dish using broccoli out there.

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Serves 2, but can easily be augmented

4 Cipollini onions
1 large head of broccoli
1/2 cup whole cashews or slivered blanched almonds
3 cloves garlic or granulated garlic to taste
Dried chili pepper flakes
1/3 cup smoked sun-dried tomatoes (the smoked ones are preferable if you can find them)
1/2 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper

First, fill a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. This is for the broccoli and onions.
Peel and quarter the onions. Chop the garlic if using real garlic. Cut the broccoli into florets and cut the stems into 1/4 inch slices.

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Lightly toast the nuts, then put these into a large bowl. Add the chopped garlic or 4 to 5 shakes of granulated garlic, 4 big pinches of salt and 2 good pinches of dried chili pepper.
Julienne the sun dried tomatoes and add them to the bowl.

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When the water is boiling, add the broccoli and onions and cook for 3 minutes only. (Please use a timer for this) Drain and add to the bowl with the nuts and sun dried tomatoes. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, toss together and season very well. It can take a good whack of salt but taste as you season to check.

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Bruce’s beautiful broccoli dish

Serves 2, but can easily be augmented

4 Cipollini onions
1 large head of broccoli
1/2 cup whole cashews or slivered blanched almonds
3 cloves garlic or granulated garlic to taste
Dried chili pepper flakes
1/3 cup smoked sun-dried tomatoes (the smoked ones are preferable if you can find them)
1/2 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper

First, fill a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. This is for the broccoli and onions.

Peel and quarter the onions. Chop the garlic if using real garlic. Cut the broccoli into florets and cut the stems into 1/4 inch slices.
Lightly toast the nuts, then put these into a large bowl. Add the chopped garlic or 4 to 5 shakes of granulated garlic, 4 big pinches of salt and 2 good pinches of dried chili pepper.
Julienne the sun dried tomatoes and add them to the bowl.

When the water is boiling, add the broccoli and onions and cook for 3 minutes only. (Please use a timer for this) Drain and add to the bowl with the nuts and sun dried tomatoes. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, toss together and season very well. It can take a good whack of salt but taste as you season to check.

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Asian broccoli salad with peanut sauce

As you probably know by now, I love all Asian food, and this salad is a lovely combination of crunchy broccoli, edamame beans and peanuts and the creamy peanut sauce.

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Serves 4 to 6

1 large head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 cup shelled cooked edamame beans
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1 batch peanut sauce (recipe below)
black sesame seeds, for garnish

Peanut sauce
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
‘1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 to 2 tbsp hot water, as needed to thin out the sauce

For the peanut sauce
Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined. if the sauce is too thick, whisk in 1 tbsp of hot water, and if it’s still too thick, whisk in another until it’s the consistency you like for pouring over the salad.

Heat a large pot of water until it is boiling. Add in the broccoli florets and boil for 30 seconds. use a strainer to transfer them into a bowl of iced water, which will immediately halt the cooking process.
Drain.
Now add the remaining ingredients, including the peanut sauce and toss until combined.
Serve immediately, garnished with the sesame seeds, if desired

Your own homemade Thai red curry sauce

This is from fellow blogger “Pinch of Yum” and is just a wonderful sauce to have around.

The flavors of this sauce are pretty addictive and you will want plenty on hand to pour over everything!

Serves 4
1 can light coconut milk
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp curry paste
1 1/2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup crushed peanuts
up to 1/2 cup water of broth
extra crushed peanuts and scallions for topping

Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan over high heat. When the coconut milk reaches a gentle simmer, add the peanut butter, curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and garlic.
Whisk and keep on high heat for 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Add the peanuts and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.
When the sauce coats the back of a spoon, add small amounts of broth or water and whisk to adjust the consistency depending on how you will use it and how thick you want it.

If the sauce separates, just whisk vigorously to smooth out again.
Serve this sauce over rice noodles, chicken, fish, vegetables or any other way that sounds good to you!
Top with crushed peanuts and scallions

Notes
More time simmering = thicker, creamier and more flavorful sauce.
If you want a thinner sauce, simmer it for less time and plan to add a bit of additional liquid.
I’ve noticed that when I add the crushed peanuts, the consistency really thickens quite a bit, so you could omit the peanut butter and / or peanuts to also adjust to your desired consistency

 

Lime and sweet chile broccoli (CleanCuisine)

This so light and delicious with the sweet chile sauce and lime giving it real balance and depth.

2lbs broccoli, chopped into large bite sized bits
1/3 cup sweet chile sauce
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp grated lime rind
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
Pinch of sugar (optional)

Boil or steam the broccoli until tender. Put the hot, drained broccoli into a serving bowl or platter.
Mix all the other ingredients together in a small bowl, pour over the hot broccoli and serve.

Enjoy!