Serves 6

Notes

If you’re in the habit of throwing away broccoli stems, or even saving them for soup, I’d like you try cooking broccoli this way. The stems are delicious and, if you peel them, they’ll cook in the same time as the florets. Nothing could be simpler than this way of preparing broccoli—after a quick boiling, just plunk the pieces into the hot oil and let them go till they’re tender.

If your time is short, you can skip the boiling step and add the raw broccoli directly to the oil and garlic. In that case, add some water to the skillet along with the broccoli, and from time to time as they cook.

Ingredients

  • 4 heads broccoli (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup (or as needed) Chicken Stock or water
Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

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Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

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Directions

If you’re in the habit of throwing away broccoli stems, or even saving them for soup, I’d like you try cooking broccoli this way. The stems are delicious and, if you peel them, they’ll cook in the same time as the florets. Nothing could be simpler than this way of preparing broccoli—after a quick boiling, just plunk the pieces into the hot oil and let them go till they’re tender.

If your time is short, you can skip the boiling step and add the raw broccoli directly to the oil and garlic. In that case, add some water to the skillet along with the broccoli, and from time to time as they cook.

Cut the tough ends off the broccoli stalks. Peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler or paring knife up to the florets. Cut each head of broccoli lengthwise into two or three spears, depending on the thickness of the stalk. (The cut stalk should be no more than ½-inch thick at its widest point.)

Blanch the broccoli spears in a large pot of boiling salted water 3 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Whack the garlic cloves with the flat side of the knife and toss them into the oil. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli, season lightly with salt and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Turn in the oil until coated with oil. Pour in the stock or water, cover the skillet tightly and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Check the broccoli once or twice as it cooks, adding a tablespoon or two of stock if the liquid evaporates. Taste the broccoli and season with additional salt and red pepper, if you like. Serve immediately.

VARIATION: Other Steamed Stalk Vegetables

Cauliflower: Cut out the thick center stems and pull off the leaves. Cut the cauliflower into large florets, each with some of the stalk attached. Blanch the cauliflower stalks in abundant boiling salted water 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalk. Drain, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water and proceed as in the above recipe.
Asparagus: Snap off the tough ends of the stems and peel the remaining part of the stalks. Blanch the asparagus in abundant boiling salted water 3 minutes. Drain, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water and proceed as in the recipe.

Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

Cookbook

Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

BUY NOW