Tuesday, September 13, 2011

who wants broccoli?

can you believe that this is the last week of summerfest?  over in the blink of an eye?  football has started, children are back in school, daylight is ending earlier and earlier...fall, here we come.   

when i first saw the summerfest schedule, i was a bit surprised to see that we were ending this year's lineup with broccoli.  i never think of it as summer produce.  it is one of the vegetables i seem to eat during fall and winter.  but in california's cooler regions...like the coast...broccoli is grown year round.  and in late september/early october you will find it is extremely tender, fresh and a perfect bridge to fall foods.

broccoli is an incredibly healthy food high in vitamins C, K, A , folate and dietary fiber. there are only 43 calories per cup.  the following chart provides the percent daily value for broccoli's top nutrients:

courtesy whfoods.com
i did some research regarding broccoli's health benefits from the world's healthiest foods website and discovered the following:

Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body's detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body's detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are the detox-regulating molecules made from broccoli's glucosinolates, and they help control the detox process at a genetic level.

Broccoli may help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.
farmer's market broccoli and celery
i love broccoli steamed and tossed with extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, red pepper flakes and topped with a bit of parmesan cheese.  or maybe as part of a stir fry.  how about cream of broccoli soup?  (i love it using unsweetened almond milk instead of cream)....but my absolute favorite way to make/eat broccoli is roasted in the oven...with olive oil...and onions...and garlic, lots and lots of garlic.  roasting the broccoli sweetens the vegetable...and roasted garlic & onions are the perfect accompaniment.  you can serve this as a side dish, add to pasta for a main course...or top grilled sourdough or french bread for a delicious bruschetta appetizer.  this recipe has been known to turn broccoli haters into broccoli lovers....give it a try and let me know what you think...

roasted broccoli and garlic
1 head organic cauliflower
1 head organic garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped
extra virgin olive oil
pinch red pepper flakes
large pinch grey salt
large pinch black pepper

preheat oven to 425 degrees. prepare broccoli by first washing and removing leaves. (save for a stir fry, soup or stock). cut off stem and then cut broccoli in half lengthwise and then again into quarters. place one of the cut sides down on cutting board and...with the knife at an angle...cut off stem. repeat with remaining three pieces. break broccoli into bite sized florets.

place prepared broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet. run 4 passes of e.v.o.o. bottle over pan and, using your hands, roll in oil ensuring evenly covered. place in preheated oven for 30 minutes. remove from oven and add garlic and onion and another 2 passes of e.v.o.o. stir and sprinkle red pepper flakes, salt and pepper over vegetables. return to pan and roast for another 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, adding additional oil only if necessary. keep roasting until the broccoli is deep brown and caramelized on all sides being careful not to let burn.

remove from oven, taste and adjust salt if needed. place on a serving platter and pour all e.v.o.o from pan over vegetables. serve immediately.

now it is your turn to participate in summer fest. simply leave your broccoli tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below, and then go visit food network and do the same same. join the conversation on twitter at #cookingwith and be sure to check out these delicious sounding recipes from the other participating bloggers:

What's Gaby Cooking: Charred Lemon Broccoli
Purple Cook: Pickled Broccoli Chips
Daily*Dishin: Quick Broccoli and Toasted Walnut Saute
From My Corner of Saratoga: Broccoli with Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette
Cooking Channel: Broccoli Stir-Fry
Virtually Vegan Mama: Vegan Broccoli Salad
Virtually Homemade: Broccoli Frittata
Zaika Zabardast: Char-Grilled Broccoli with Cherry Chilies and Garlic Tadka
 Glory Foods: Steamed Broccoli-Vegetable Medley
Food2: Slammin' Broccoli Soup
Easy Peasy Organic: A Hands-On Approach to Eating Broccoli
FN Dish: Broccoli and Cheddar, A Perfect Pair


diane padoven

napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style™ "

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1 comment:

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