Choppin’ broccoli

9 Sep

With apologies to Dana Carvey , we really do adore our broccoli.

This is broc at its best: viscous with fruity olive oil, spicy and salty. This is also an amazing topping for pizza.
Our fave is an unforgettable slice from New York’s Famiglia Pizzeria on Madison and 97th Street.

Paired with soft, bubbling mozzerella, this makes a pizza-perfect combo on pita or whatever you can toast. Dreamy!

1 cup broccoli florets (pieces)
up to 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cold water
1 clove minced garlic
Sea salt to taste
Red pepper flakes, chili oil, or in a pinch, Rooster sauce

Separate the broccoli florets from the stems. (Peel the stems and cut them into bite sized pieces – optional, you can toss out the stems). Break the florets into bite sized pieces. Place all ingredients into a covered fry pan and turn on high. When the steam seeps out the side of the lid you are done!~ Should take no more than 3-4 minutes. The broccoli will be bright green.


Still on the veg-fest, we are big fans of the lovely Mollie Katzen and her charming, hand illustrated 1982 cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

This recipe of the same name brings broccoli, herbs, rice and cheese together beautifully. Although we love Best of Bridge’s Wild Rice Broccoli Casserole (2, 180 g cooked packages of Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice layered with steamed broccoli, 2, 10 oz/284 mL cans of mushroom soup and 2 c. grated old Cheddar), this is a cleaner, herbed version. It might be fun to revamp it as a baked risotto with the fun tree toppers.

Cook the rice as directed –  it’s fine if the rice is tender and there’s still extra moisture left.  Prepare the broccoli and in a medium bowl mix together 1 1/2 c. of the cheese with the soup.

Grease a 4 L casserole and spread half of the rice evenly on the bottom followed by half of the broccoli and then half of the soup mixture.  Repeat the layers and top with the remaining 1/2 c. of cheese.

When you’re ready to bake it, cook at 350 for about an hour.

Cook 2 cups brown or white rice in 3 cups boiling water until tender. (This will take 15-20 minutes for white, and 35-35 minutes for brown.)
Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and set aside.
Trim the tough bottoms from the broccoli stalks and cut the tops into trees. Steam until bright green and just barely tender. Rinse under cold running water, drain well and set aside
Preheat oven to 325F.
Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan.

Melt the butter or heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or a Dutch oven. Add the onion and salt and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and lemon juice and saute for about 2 minutes longer.

Stir in the rice, two eggs, some black pepper and cayenne to taste, the herbs and the optional sunflower seeds and cheese (swiss, cheddar, some parm).
Taste to correct salt, if necessary and spread into prepared pan.
Now for the fun part. Arrange the broccoli upright in the rice, and, if desired, drizzle with melted butter. Cover loosely with foil and bake until just heated through (15-20 minutes).

One Response to “Choppin’ broccoli”


  1. Rockin’ around the Rock « Cookbook Cherie - November 30, 2009

    […] still swoon with memories from our hot slice from Famiglia Pizzeria on Madison and 97th Street on a cold autumn […]

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