The bane of many children’s, and adults’, dinner plates, broccoli has always been a favorite of mine. As a child, I ate frozen broccoli spears, sometimes with cheese sauce, and sometimes just plain, but I don’t remember even seeing fresh broccoli in the local groceries.
I have found and enjoyed many different casseroles, soups and salads with broccoli as a main ingredient and am always on the lookout for something new. At the bottom of this post, I will give you a recipe for a broccoli salad that often appears on our Christmas Eve Feast menu. This might be the “something new” that you are looking for.
It would be hard to find another vegetable as loaded with nutritional goodies as broccoli. Full of vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, it has lots of the trace mineral chromium as well as phytochemicals. Look for dark green flowerets and stems without hollow cores to be sure to get the freshest possible.
I always cut a shallow “X” in the bottom of the stems before steaming broccoli, which supposedly helps them cook faster. I never peel the stems, although I see recipes that call for it. Sometimes a sprinkling of Parmesan is all that I do before serving and sometimes I fix a cheese sauce. My sister fixes a delicious broccoli dish with lots of garlic and soy sauce. I’ll get the recipe from her and pass it along later.
We used to have a phony “Eggs Benedict” for dinner. I would top toasted English muffins with a poached egg and surround it with broccoli. With cheddar cheese sauce on top, it was a delicious dinner, although not exactly low fat, the way I made the cheese sauce. I had a recipe that was delicious for extremely quick cheese sauce: 1 c. milk, 1 c. mayonnaise, and 1 c. grated cheddar cheese. Put in a saucepan, whisk together and cook over med-low heat, with a stir now and then. Mmmmmm. That served 4 people but was still rather heavy on the fat and calories. An optional addition to the above is a slice of canadian bacon, or even ham chunks added to the cheese sauce. Broccoli is what made that dish attractive as well as tasty, and added some good nutrients to boot.
large head broccoli, cut into florets, thickest part of the stems reserved for soup.
head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 strips bacon, cooked, drained and chopped
1/2 c. red onion, chopped
1/2 c. Green goddess dressing*
1/2 t. Celery seed
1 ripe tomato, cut into wedges, or cherry tomatoes for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, mix mayonnaise and green goddess dressing with seasonings and bacon pieces. Add the broccoli, cauliflower and onion and stir gently. Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours. Garnish with tomato wedges or cherry tomatoes, halved if large, just before serving.
* Green Goddess dressing can be hard to find. I use 7 Seas when I can find it. If I can’t find it, I sometimes substitute creamy italian dressing, but look for the green goddess, it makes a difference. But here is a recipe for making your own.