Saturday, 9 February 2013

What's for dinner? Broccoli!

It's funny that when you're told you can't eat something as often as you would like, you realise how much you like it. This happened to me with broccoli. It used to be an easy side to have with fish or meat until my boyfriend came along and, like some school boy stereotype, declared that it was "gross" and he wasn't going to eat it.  I'm thankful that broccoli is pretty much the only vegetable that he won't eat, but I do miss it. (In the interest for fairness I should point out that my boyfriend will eat broccoli in Thai curries, in fact he introduced me to the concept of broccoli in curry and it's amazing!)

I cook for myself during the week and lately I've been making up for the lack of broccoli in my life. I never used to appreciate broccoli before it became a forbidden ingredient - it can be so much more than an over cooked side dish! I thought I'd share some of my favourite recipes with you.

Garlic, Chilli and Broccoli Pasta

I eavesdropped this recipes from a work colleague. It looks very plain and simple in the picture but it actually has a lot of flavour from the chilli, garlic and white wine that the broccoli is cooked in. To make it you fry two cloves of garlic in a little oil, add chilli flakes to taste (I use about a teaspoon). Cook the broccoli in the oil and slosh in about half a cup of white wine. Add cherry tomatoes or whatever else you fancy. When the broccoli is cooked, but still has some bite to it, toss through the cooked pasta until everything is nicely coated in the winey-garlicky juices. Serve with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan.  

Creamy Broccoli, Pea and Ham Pasta
This recipe comes from the Heath Foundation website. It's actually supposed to be a gnocchi dish, but I make it with pasta because I find it freezes a lot better than gnocchi. This is a nice recipe for days when you feel like eating something creamy minus the actual cream. It uses evapourated milk for the sauce. Make sure you add lots of pesto and pepper! 

Brown Sugar and Lime-Glazed Salmon - with Broccoli!
I saw this recipe on recently and thought I'd give it a try as broccoli is my favourite side for steamed fish. I will definitely make this again because I love salmon, especially when coated in limey-sugary goodness. The broccoli and carrots cooked in garlicky-ginger soy sauce was also very good. A word of warming for those who don't like the idea of sugar and meat - this is a very sweet dish. I find it works with the soy sauce and the salts in the fish, but I can see that this wouldn't be for everyone! I have used regular broccoli in this recipe because I tend to buy a few bunches, cut it all up and then add it to my dishes throughout the week for a quick boost of green. One of my favourite uses for extra broccoli is baked eggs with broccoli and mushrooms from Poor Girl Eats Well. This recipe really should be on my list as I make it so often, but I have neglected to take a photo of it (probably because I'm always in a hurry to eat it :-P). 


  1. I recently found out that I LOVE brussel sprouts, and have been making them on nights when my husband is working. I make a giant bowl of roasted brussel sprouts with broccollini and kale chips. Yummy!

    1. You know what else is amazing? Brussel sprouts sliced and panfried with a little bit of garlic and butter (and bacon if you're not vego) - only problem is that it's not particularly healthy!

    2. I really like brussel sprouts too but I haven't eaten them in ages! I should try them again soon. And kale chips - that sounds great :-)