Our cook and maid seem to have run off. There's also no sign of the nanny, the butler, the gardener, the butler or the chauffeur. It's so hard to find good help these days...
As a result, weeknight meals are usually rushed, chaotic affairs. I'm always on the hunt for recipes that are quick and simple enough to actually make and enjoy. So I was pleased to discover this simple broccoli recipe.
Lemon, garlic, butter and salt (how can you miss?!) give the nicely steamed broccoli a pretty stellar coating. If you're lucky, the broccoli will also be naturally sweet - the cold weather actually helps to concentrate the natural sweetness in some veggies like broccoli and brussels sprouts.
I made this for dinner last night to great acclaim. Our younger son could not get enough, shoveling it into his mouth with both hands, and our older son (the picky eater) refused to eat anything but the broccoli. I did have to feed it to him but that is par for the course most of the time (it's just one of my many duties as head housemaid) and no reflection on how much he liked it.
Although taste is almost always my primary concern, broccoli and its kin, the cruciferous vegetables also pack a seriously healthy punch - they've got lots of vitamin C, fiber, B vitamins, selenium, and other stuff that is supposed to help boost your immune system and prevent cancer. What's not to love? Unless you are one of those people who absolutely hate broccoli, in which case, this may not be the best dish for you.
Try not to overcook the broccoli (something I struggle with given the myriad distractions of cooking with two little kids around). You want to find that magical window between too raw and too cooked when it is still perfectly toothsome and nice and green. If you think you're on the edge, you can also "shock" the broccoli in some ice water to completely stop it from cooking.
If you happen to have a picky eater of your own, it may help to play up the "tree" aspect of broccoli to capture their imagination and distract them from the fact that they are eating a healthy vegetable. Enjoy!
Broccoli with Lemon-Garlic Butter
* 2 large heads of organic broccoli
* 2 cloves of garlic
* 2 Tbsps organic butter (you can use olive oil if you don't eat dairy)
* Juice of half a lemon
* Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Rinse and trim the broccoli. Don't make the mistake of throwing the stems away! They're just as tasty and nutritious as the "tree tops" are. Just cut the bottoms and any tough parts away.
2. Steam the broccoli until just fork tender but still very green - about 3-5 minutes.
3. While it's steaming, chop or press two cloves of garlic and saute them in some butter and olive oil.
4. Remove the broccoli from the steamer and toss it gently with the garlic butter. Squeeze half a lemon over top and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Then eat!
You might also like:
- Lemony Roasted Broccoli with Pasta & Pinenuts
- Simple Sauteed Spinach with Garlic
- Cooking with Your Kids