Lemon and Garlic Broccoli

This is probably one of my healthiest recipes and one that I have made so often, I could do it in my sleep. 9 times out of 10 if I’m serving broccoli, this is how I serve it. There are two steps to cooking it, boiling (or I sometimes steam it) and then sauteeing it in garlic oil and chili flakes. Just before serving, and this is key, I squeeze the juice of half a lemon over top but don’t squeeze the daylights out of it, just a good drizzle of juice is all you need. I have put too much lemon juice on before and it was ok but the lemon overpowered all the flavours. If you want more lemon after you taste it, it is easy enough to put more on but you can’t take it away. I have also finished sauteeing the dish too far ahead of serving and put the lemon juice on too soon. It tasted fine, but it went a little brown from the acid of the juice.

If I am making this for a dinner party and want to have as many pots and cutting boards cleaned before guests come, I blanch it. This means that I boil the broccoli for one or two minutes and then plunge it into a big bowl full of ice water. Then I drain it in a colander (making sure I pull out the ice cubes) and put the whole colander in the fridge on a plate to catch excess water or  I make sure it is drained very well and just put it in a bowl in the fridge so that I can wash the colander and put it away. Then I just sautee it for about 4 or 5 minutes just before I serve it.

What makes this recipe so healthy is the minimal amount of fat (2 tsp) and no salt. The combination of the slightly caramelized bits on the broccoli, with the garlic oil, chili flakes and lemon is a match made in heaven. I used a whole big bunch of broccoli and it was devoured. Do kids like it? Well, I guess that depends on the kid. Mine doesn’t but my 8 year old niece does. When she is over I only use a scant amount of chili flakes. I think if I smothered broccoli with cheese sauce Tim would put it in his mouth, suck off all the cheese sauce and hand me the piece of broccoli with a smile. Try this recipe – you will love it.

Ingredients
1 large bunch of broccoli, or two broccoli crowns cut into florets (about 2-3 cups)
2 tsp roasted garlic oil (or any type of garlic flavoured oil)
pinch of chili flakes
juice of half a lemon (up to 2 tsp)

How-to
1. Cut the broccoli into florets and set aside. Boil water in a large pot and put the oil and chili flakes in a frying pan but don’t heat the oil yet.
2. When the water is boiling, put the broccoli in. Now heat the garlic oil on medium-low if you are using an electric stove. If you have a gas oven, start heating the oil when the broccoli only needs another minute or your pan will get too hot. Boil the broccoli for 3-4 minutes, depending on how big you cut it. It should still be quite crispy since it will continue to cook in the frying pan.
3. After 3 minutes (or so) using a slotted spoon, scoop the broccoli out of the water, shake off any excess water and put it in the frying pan with the heated oil and chili flakes. You could also drain it into a colander and then dump the broccoli into the oil all in one go.
4. Stir the broccoli around so all of it gets a bit of oil on it and sautee for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat.
5. Once the broccoli has some of caramelized bits on some of the pieces, scoop the broccoli into a serving bowl and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the broccoli, giving it a stir to get some lemon juice on all of the florets. Serve immediately.

Yields 4

Lemon and Garlic Broccoli

Healthy and delicious way to serve broccoli.

10 mins Prep Time

6 mins Cook Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, or two broccoli crowns cut into florets (about 2-3 cups)
  • 2 tsp roasted garlic oil (or any type of garlic flavoured oil)
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • juice of half a lemon (up to 2 tsp)

Instructions

  1. Cut the broccoli into florets and set aside. Boil water in a large pot and put the oil and chili flakes in a frying pan but don't heat the oil yet.
  2. When the water is boiling, put the broccoli in. Now heat the garlic oil on medium-low if you are using an electric stove. If you have a gas stove, start heating the oil when the broccoli only needs another minute or your pan will get too hot. Boil the broccoli for 3-4 minutes, depending on how big you cut it. It should still be quite crispy since it will continue to cook in the frying pan.
  3. After 3 minutes (or so) using a slotted spoon, scoop the broccoli out of the water, shake off any excess water and put it in the frying pan with the heated oil and chili flakes. You could also drain it into a colander and then dump the broccoli into the oil all in one go.
  4. Stir the broccoli around so all of it gets a bit of oil on it and sautee for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat.
  5. Once the broccoli has some of caramelized bits on some of the pieces, scoop the broccoli into a serving bowl and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the broccoli, giving it a stir to get some lemon juice on all of the florets. Serve immediately.
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