Rock the broc

I cook broccoli all sorts of ways–boil, steam, stir-fry, braise, roast. Everything short of blacken. But a recent issue of Fine Cooking introduced me to an entirely new way of cooking it. I couldn’t find the issue last night, but the recipe is so simple I recreated it from memory and it was totally fine.

The author, Tasha DeSerio, calls this method “slow-cooking,” but that suggests that you’re going to dump the broccoli into a Crock-Pot and leave it all day. Really you’re only cooking it for an hour, but it comes out transformed, like broccoli-garlic candy. Okay, that sounds gross. It’s like broccoli as Smoove B would serve it. It’s broccoli confit.

Adapted from Fine Cooking Dec 2005/Jan 2006
Serves 2-3

*The amount of oil may sound excessive, but don’t cut back or it’ll end up dry. Besides, it’s olive oil, right? The garlic will turn into irresistible brown, chewy slices by the end.*

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups small broccoli florets and peeled, sliced stems (about 1-1/2 pounds)
2 ounces pancetta, diced (optional)
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
crushed red pepper flakes

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat. Add the broccoli, pancetta, garlic, a healthy sprinkle of salt, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Stir well.

2. Reduce the heat to low. Cook uncovered one hour, stirring occasionally.

3. As you approach the hour mark, taste a piece of broccoli. If it’s still crunchy, put a lid on the pan and cook covered for five minutes or until broccoli is tender. Season with additional salt to taste and serve hot or warm.

6 thoughts on “Rock the broc

  1. Neil

    Sounds interesting, but why the “not nonstick” clause? Will the recipe really not work if I use a nonstick skillet?

  2. mamster Post author

    I dunno, it just didn’t feel right for this recipe, but probably it will be fine. You might have to up the heat a little bit.

  3. lee

    I was trying to imagine Smoove talking about how he’d serve you this broccoli but I couldn’t picture it. He doesn’t seem like a broccoli man. Maybe I just have to try the broccoli first?

  4. mamster Post author

    If broccoli is not to your liking, I will serve you cauliflower or any other member of the Brassica genus.

    Corn will also be served.

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