And as you might expect, it's GOOD.
I especially like the technique -- much more suggestion than proscription -- because:
- The broccoli stalks are absolutely delicious. So often, they're chopped off and even discarded in favor of the more tender and flavorful crowns. I loved them cold, eaten out of a bowl like pickles.
- The herb and vinegar and oil combinations are nearly limitless, making it easy to complement the rest of the meal. (Tonight's version used a tiny bit of oil, maybe a teaspoon, a good splash of fig vinegar from of all places, Tuesday Morning, and fresh dill.)
- It fits a Six O'Clock Scramble supper schedule OR can be prepped ahead of time.
NEVER-the-SAME STEAMED BROCCOLI
StephenCooks Steamed Broccoli
Hands-on time: whoops, no clock-watching again, maybe 10 minutes, virtually all for trimming the broccoli
Time to table: maybe 20 minutes
1 pound broccoli
Olive oil or butter
Salt & Pepper
Bring an inch of water to boil in a steaming pan.
Meanwhile, trim the broccoli (instructions from StephenCooks).
Transfer broccoli to steamer basket. When the water is boiling, place the basket inside the pan, COVER and let steam for five minutes.
"Cut the last 1/4" from the end of the stalks, use a paring knife to trim any gnarly stumps or little branches from the stalks and then, using a vegetable peeler, peel the tough outer skin from the stalks, starting at the base of the flower and going to the end of the stalks. Some larger stalks have a fairly thick skin and may need two passes of the peeler...you can tell when you got it all when the inner flesh of the stalk is exposed...it has a softer wet-green look, with no fibers visible and a consistency like a cut radish or potato.
Cut the broccoli into serving portions...I usually cut it crosswise into three pieces - the flower and two pieces of stalk about 2 1/2 - 3" long. Then divide the flowers from each other and halve or quarter the stalk pieces lengthwise. For uniform cooking, the flower stems should be about the same diameter as the quartered or halved stalk pieces."
Meanwhile, assemble your Never-the-Same choices in a small bowl. When the five minutes is up, drain the water, return the broccoli to the hot pan, stir in the Never-the-Same choices, COVER the pan and let rest so the broccoli can continue to cook and the flavors meld.
Will depend on what ingredients you add, especially the fat. In general, in Weight Watchers terms, a pound of broccoli for four servings with a tablespoon of olive oil or fat yields 1 point per serving.
- To prep ahead, then cook just before serving: Trim the broccoli and set inside the steaming tray but NOT inside the steaming pan. Assemble the oil/garlic/herbs etc in a small bowl.
- The broccoli will not be quite done after only 5 minutes of steaming. So do allow time, after the Never-the-Same choices are added, to COVER and let the broccoli rest for several minutes.
- If your family really likes broccoli but prep time just before supper is precious, it might be worth it to trim a couple of pounds on the weekend, then cook it during the week.