Friday, February 22, 2013

Broccoli - lemon parmesan style

Last up, the easiest of the trio - Lemon Parmesan Broccoli.  Now don't get me wrong, just because I have this vegetable listed as the 3rd string, don't be fooled into thinking it's not a tantalizing dish, unworthy of your time.  You would be sadly mistaken.

The 3rd string players are less involved, but you still want to be sure they are all present or the final product is a bit lack luster - as we found this particular night.

 Lemon Parmesan Broccoli 
(Tonight's showing was definitely in line with 3rd string.  
Had I planned appropriately, as I did the first time I prepared this dish, I would not have had to type that sentence.)
Be sure to have on hand:
5  C raw broccoli
2 Tbs olive oil (I almost always use EVOO)
2 garlic cloves minced (or pre-minced jar garlic if that's what you have on hand)
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind (I didn't have this today and it made a huge difference -- use a LEMON)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (I used the "bottle" variety and it wasn't nearly as flavorful and yummy - if you MUST go this route - use a bit more)
3 Tbls grated/shaved Parm cheese

Having as many of the players as I could for this preparation, I began.

Chopping up the broccoli into bite sized pieces - I discarded the stalks and tossed the heads into a large pot to steam for 4 minutes.

The broccoli getting ready to be steamed 4 minutes
While this was taking place, I put the olive oil in a skillet to warm over medium-high heat.   Once heated, I added the garlic and cooked for about 2 minutes - just until the garlic was fragrant.

Being multi-talented, I took the broccoli, now done steaming, and put it in a large bowl to await it's coating of oil and garlic.

The heated oil mixture done, I poured it over the steamed broccoli then added the lemon juice, and salt tossing to coat it all. (I would have also added the grated rind zest had I planned better.)

To complete this dish, I added the parmesan cheese and tossed it lightly to blend. 
The finished product

Now the whole meal was complete.

I cut into the roast - pink juicy goodness awaited.  The first bite of risotto soared well above my expectations.  The lemon parmesan broccoli, although not as bright as my initial preparation of the dish, was still a cut above the typical "steamed broccoli" that we were so accustomed to eating.

I'm thinking risotto - of various preparations - will become a staple in our menu planning.  Roasts are no longer daunting and fresh broccoli has multiple facets for us to enjoy.

Hope you found these recipes helpful and maybe, just maybe, I was able to break you out of whatever "box" you tend to cook in.

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