Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Blanched Broccoli And Grated Garlic

This is a fun way to cook broccoli. I blanch the whole head with the stem attached, peel it and THEN cut it into stalks. This way it can relax in the frying pan early in the day and it’s all ready for its final spin in olive oil and garlic just before serving. 

>Jump To Sautéed Broccoli with Grated Garlic

Pick nice, firm, fat green heads. The florets should be dark green and tight.

Cut off the end of the stem and make sure it can stand up on the cutting board, so it will stay straight in the pot. 


I blanch it for 2 minutes in boiling, salted water. Always add the salt after the water is boiling. Why? Because old wives say that it prevents corrosion on your stainless steel pots. Dunno, but I still do it that way. 

If you’re doing two heads, blanch them one after the other. 


As it’s cooking, I spoon the boiling water over the top of the broccoli to begin the cooking of the florets. 


If we’re being classical, after blanching, dump the broccoli heads in a bowl of ice water, but (don’t judge me) honestly I don’t usually bother. 2 minutes is definitely not overcooking the whole broccoli head, so I’m not manic about stopping the cooking time. But definitely do it if you can’t see your way to skipping this step. You’re right and I’m wrong, but I am happy with my non-ice-water bath results.

I rediscovered my love of garlic when I started grating it with a microplaner. 


It's a good way to add garlic when you're doing a sauté. It seems to give the garlic a ramped-up flavor, which is wonderful in a simple dish. When you’re grating, definitely avoid the center stalk of the garlic clove. I have a grudge against it as I believe it’s the source of garlic’s indigestibility. Getting rid of that center piece or in this case stopping the grating when you get to it, renders the garlic much more benign with fewer bad after-effects.

Sautéed Broccoli with Grated Garlic 
(serves 4)

2 nice heads of broccoli with stems attached
1 tbl. Kosher salt
1-2 tbls. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, peeled

Cut a little off the stem end of the broccoli, making sure it can stand up on its own. Bring a 5 quart pot of water to the boil. Stir in salt. Add one broccoli head. Spoon the boiling water over the top of the broccoli a few times while boiling for 2 minutes. Place on plate to cool. (Or plunge into a bowl of ice water.) Repeat with second head.

Peel the stems off the broccoli with a little paring knife. You won’t get everything, just do the best you can.

Place the broccoli on the cutting board so it’s lying down sideways. Cut the individual florets off the head, by rotating the broccoli to get to each new floret.








After they’re all cut, if you get a particularly wonky looking stem, just trim it up.

Place in large sauté pan until ready to heat up. 

5 to 10 minutes before serving, drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and cook over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate the garlic over the pan using a a microplaner. (Avoid the bitter center stalk.) When you have a little char on one side after 2 to 3 minutes, turn it over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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