By Chefadoo’s Jen Hankin
Vegetables don’t have to be boring, they can actually be fun and exciting — if you know how to prepare them! We have 5 fun ways to cook broccoli in this week’s Chefadoo blog.
Broccoli is one of the most healthful vegetables out. Long known as a source of fiber, folate, and vitamins A and C, broccoli’s also loaded with sulforaphane, an antioxidant shown to reduce the risk of some cancers. But what really makes these edible flowers (the florets are the flowering heads of the plant) exceptional is how appealing they are to all types of eaters including kids! That’s a quality that truly stands the test of time.
1/2 cup cooked broccoli contains:
- 27 calories
- 51 mg vitamin C
- 110 mcg vitamin K
- 1,207 IU vitamin A
- 84 mcg folate
- 3 g fiber
Balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, and olive oil are all it takes to make your roasted broccoli extraordinary. Make a batch early in the week and enjoy this healthy vegetable all week long
- Broccoli, chopped – 1½ lbs.
- Garlic, minced – 4 cloves
- Balsamic vinegar – 1½ tbs.
- Brown sugar – 2 tsp.
- Olive oil – 2 tbs.
- Broccoli / Garlic – Prepare as directed
- Whisk together remaining ingredients
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Spread out onto a sheet pan and toss with vinaigrette and plenty of salt and pepper
- Roast for 25 minutes, giving the pan a shake midway through
- 8-10 cups of fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 red onion, cut into thin bite sized slices
- 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3/4 cup raisins or craisins (see Note)
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Combine broccoli with the red onion, bacon, raisins, and almonds in a large bowl.
- To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad.
- Let salad chill for about 3 hours. It may not seem like enough dressing but after it chills the dressing marinates and is plenty. This also allows the flavors to meld.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
You can also use halved grapes instead of raisins.
3. Quick-Braised Broccoli with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Prep Time: 30 minutes or fewer
Sautéing the broccoli before steaming it helps caramelize its natural sugars and gives it a fuller, richer flavor.
- 2 Tbs. pine nuts
- 1 ½ Tbs. vegetable oil
- 2 large heads broccoli (1 lb.), cut into small florets
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese (2 oz.)
- ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced
- 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1. Toast pine nuts in dry skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to large bowl.
2. Heat oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, and cook 2 minutes, or until florets are evenly coated with oil and beginning to soften and brown, stirring constantly. Carefully add 1/3 cup water; cover tightly with lid. Steam broccoli 4 minutes, or until water has evaporated and broccoli is tender.
3. Transfer broccoli to bowl with toasted pine nuts, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle goat cheese over broccoli, and stir in sun-dried tomatoes. Drizzle vinegar over top, and serve warm.
4. Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
Prep Time: 35 mins.
Ingredients4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)DirectionsPreheat the oven to 425 degrees F.Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.
Serves 6Prep Time: 30 minutes or fewer
Paired with a two-cheese white sauce, broccoli makes a wonderful pizza topping. The secret to a crisp crust is preheating the baking stone or sheet. If you like extra-crispy pizza, prebake the dough 3 to 4 minutes before adding toppings.
- 2 Tbs. nonhydrogenated margarine or butter, divided
- 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)
- 8 oz. broccoli florets (3 cups)
- 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella, divided
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan, divided
- 1 13.8-oz. pkg. refrigerated pizza dough
1. Place pizza stone or baking sheet in center of oven, and heat to 425°F.
2. Melt 1 1/2 tsp. margarine in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 4 to 7 minutes, or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Add broccoli and 1/3 cup water. Cover tightly, and steam broccoli in skillet 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender.
3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. margarine in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour, and cook 2 minutes, or until pale golden, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, garlic, and salt. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until mixture thickens and begins to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup mozzarella and 2 Tbs. Parmesan until sauce is smooth and cheese is melted.
4. Shape pizza dough according to package directions. Remove pizza stone from oven, and place dough on hot stone.
5. Spread white sauce over dough to within 1/2 inch of edge, and top with broccoli mixture. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over top. Return to oven, and bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until edges of pizza are golden and center is hot and bubbly. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.