Superfoods by Organicat

We've all heard about so-called "Superfoods" and how good they are for us...but if the idea of one more broiled salmon and steamed broccoli dinner drives you batty, come see what I'm cookin'!

Name:
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I'm a Foodie, Nutrition/Wellness Consultant and Personal Trainer. Eat well and love it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Broccoli, Schmockolli!

When I was a kid, my mom used to force broccoli on me. "It's a cruciferous vegetable! It's good for you," she'd hiss. The only problem was the way she'd prepare it. The vibrant green florets she'd brought home from the store had been replaced by a greenish-brown sludge by the time they'd hit the table. I wanted to recognize my veggies!

Today, when I want the hard-hitting nutrition of broccoli, I go for it's little sister: broccolini. This is young broccoli. It's tender, sweeter, easier to prepare and eat than its bulky sibling. My favorite way to prepare broccolini is by sauteeing it. I like to add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a hot pan, then introduce the trimmed (just cut off the bottom inch of the stem) broccolini. Diced garlic goes in next, followed by a teaspoon or so of sesame seeds. When the veggies are bright green and the stems are hot through, I remove the pan from the heat and squeeze 1/2 of a lemon over the whole thing. Yum.

If you can't find broccolini or you just really want to take on the big bundle of broccoli, my favorite way to make it delicious is by roasting it. Roasting brings out the sweetness many people miss when their broccoli has been steamed or boiled. Slice the spears into long, narrower pieces. After a good rinse, dry it and toss it with your favorite vinegrette (I keep lots on hand!), then lay it on a baking sheet. Roast your spears at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, and enjoy.

This recipe can be an elegant canvas for many different toppings and condiments. Try sprinkling grated parmesano reggiano over the spears in the last 5 minutes of roasting. This creates a beautiful, melted lattice over your veggies. I like to reduce my favorite balsalmic vinegar down to a glaze consistency, then drizzle that over the broccoli. Sweet meets tangy! If your main course is more complex and filled with a variety of flavors, you may want to keep the spears simple, just tossing them with olive oil, shallots and lemon zest. Lovely!

To be healthy, broccoli does not have to be steamed or bland! Play with it and enjoy. Any suggestions? Let me know!

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