Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pan-Roasted Broccoli

Last night we had cheese ravioli with tomato sauce and pan-roasted broccoli.  I cooked some frozen ravioli from Sam's.  According to Jacob, the highlight of the meal was the broccoli.

An article on cooking vegetables in Cook's Illustrated inspired me to try cooking some standard veggies in new ways.  The article recommended sauteing peas in butter instead of boiling them.  Jacob loved this method- although, he never complained about boiled peas. 

To cook broccoli, the article also advocated using the stalks in addition to the florets, and roasting the broccoli in a pan to bring out "broccoli's sweet rather than sulfurous flavors."  We all really enjoyed the broccoli.  Jacob did not care for the stalks, but they were my favorite part.  The stalks were browned and tender and the florets were browned and flavorful.  The method is easy, but a sharp knife is handy for trimming the tough outer layer off the stalks.

2 Tab oil
1 3/4 lb broccoli
3 Tab water
salt, to taste

Trim florets off stalk as closely as possible to their heads.  Square off each stalk with a chef's knife to remove the outer 1/8'' of the stalk.  Cut on a diagonal into 1/4" thick slices. 
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add stalks and saute for 2 minutes, covered without stirring.  Add florets and cook until they start to brown (1-2 min), then add water.  Cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove lid and cook until water evaporates and broccoli is tender, another 2 minutes.

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