Thursday, February 10, 2011

0 Recipe #240: Italian-Style Sautéed Broccoli with Fresh Herbs

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Here's another simple side dish. After all of the elaborate dishes of the past few weeks, I thought I'd switch things up a bit this week & offer a recipe doesn't require more than 5 steps to make. :) There are times when we all just want to make something quick, easy, & unfussy, and this dish certainly meets that requirement. However, just because it's simple doesn't mean that it's not full of flavor. The fresh, Italian-style spices in this dish give the broccoli a complex & incredibly vibrant taste. Sure, this dish might be simple & easy to prepare, but it's anything but boring! :-D

Italian-Style Sautéed Broccoli with Fresh Herbs

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. shallots, peeled & very finely minced
1 Tbsp. garlic, peeled & very finely minced (about 2 large cloves)
1 large fresh bay leaf
2 c. fresh broccoli florets
2 c. fresh broccoli stalks, leaves removed & discarded, & ends trimmed
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
3/4 - 1 c. (or more) low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh Tuscan Blue rosemary leaves, very finely minced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, very finely minced
1/2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, very finely minced
1 Tbsp. fresh mint, very finely minced
1 Tbsp. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, very finely minced
1/2 Tbsp. fresh marjoram leaves, very finely minced
1/4 c. scallions (about 3 large scallions)
1/2 -1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste (optional)

Directions: In a large (12-13") sauté pan, heat olive oil on low heat & add shallots, garlic, & bay leaf, sautéing until tender, about 5 minutes. Next, add broccoli florets & stalks, season with salt & pepper, & deglaze with chicken/vegetable broth, adding 1/4 c. at a time, (allowing each addition to be fully absorbed before adding the next). Add all fresh herbs & cook for about 10 minutes, or until liquid has been reduced to a thin layer on the bottom of the pan. Add scallions in the final minute of cooking. When finished, broccoli should still retain its color & also some of its crunch. (In other words, the consistency of the finished product will be similar to that of lightly steamed broccoli, i.e., not too hard but definitely not soft or mushy either! :) ) Remove from heat, discard bay leaf, & stir in lemon juice, if using, & mix well to combine. Serve & enjoy!

Yield: 3-4 servings.

Chef's Notes: I personally prefer to make this recipe using chicken broth, although I've listed the vegetable broth option for those who are vegetarian, vegan, or have other dietary restrictions. For a little kick, add a dash (i.e., 1/8 tsp.) of dried red chili pepper flakes to the broccoli at the same time you add the fresh herbs.

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