When I was 11 years old my parents sent me to boarding school. It actually wasn’t as bad as it sounded. In many ways it was a big adventure to make new friends and be out in the world on my own.
I learned some big lessons that year.
But the thing that really stuck with me was how amazing my mum’s cooking was. And just how bad boarding school food could be.
It’s easy to trace my fear of over-cooked vegetables back to that time. I distinctly remember beans and broccoli always having that dull army green thing going on. Ick
And the texture. Always of mush.
So it’s not surprising that I grew up to be a fan of ‘al dente’ crunch in my vegetables.
But recently I’ve had a change of heart.
Especially with my broccoli.
It all happened, as the best cooking discoveries tend to happen… by accident.
I was ‘steam-frying‘ a pot of broccoli to have with my poached eggs one morning and got distracted with Fergal. Next thing I knew my broccoli had nothing resembling any crunch left.
But here’s the thing…
I LOVED my super tender broccoli ‘mistake’. The flavour was more subdued and it just melted away in my mouth. I couldn’t wait to have more.
Moral to this tale?
Try cooking your broccoli a little longer. You might be surprised how delicious and interesting good old ‘broc’ can be…
Super Tender Broccoli
I love this broccoli with a poached egg and some home made mayo for breakkie. But lately, I’ve found myself doubling up for more super tender ‘broc’ with sardines or tuna and lashings of lemon juice for lunch or a simple supper.
enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
3 tablespoons white vinegar
mayo to serve
1. Place a medium saucepan on a medium high heat. Add a drizzle of oil, the chopped broccoli and a big splash of water.
2. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes and adding more water if it starts to burn.
3. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to the boil for the eggs. Add vinegar then break in your eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and allow the eggs to gently bubble for about 3 minutes or until they feel soft and pillowy to your finger. (I set a timer otherwise I forget them!)
4. When the broccoli is no longer crunchy, season generously with sea salt and pepper.
5. To serve, divide broccoli between two plates and top with poached eggs and mayo.
vegan – skip the eggs and serve broccoli with a big dollop of hummus.
different protein – i love sardines, tuna or salmon instead of the egg. Its also lovely with shaved parmesan or a sharp goats cheese. Great with grilled steaks or pork chops.
side dish – skip the egg and mayo and serve broccoli with a splash of lemon juice anywhere you’d normally serve a green salad.
different veg – try asparagus, kale, cabbage, chard (silverbeet), spinach or broccolini.
What about you?
Got a fave way of cooking broccoli? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below…
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