Brilliant Sauteed Broccoli

As I sit to write this, I’m looking outside at perhaps the most beautiful day we’ve had since moving to Duluth.  It’s above 50 degrees (yay!), the sky is blue and I saw a robin this morning.  And the robin was fat, which I’m taking to mean he’s found some nice worms, which means the ground it thawing.  This I am VERY excited about as I plan to plant a garden this year.  I’ve come to realize however, in the far north, you must first start your seeds inside and then transplant them outdoors once the chance of freeze has past for good.  So last week I went and bought me a seed tray, dirt and seeds.  SO EXCITED!!! I plan on doing my planting this weekend.  Choosing what to plant proved to be  a bit more difficult than I first anticipated.  I only have a small space and wanted to utilize it to the max!

I’ve bought all my seeds, but may need to go back for more.  One veggie I didn’t buy seeds for was broccoli.  I think it’s because I KNOW i’ll be battling rabbits and broccoli seems like prime rabbit attracting bait.  Anyway, this weeks recipe utilizes the broccoli and while making it I thought it would be extra fun to just walk outside, cut me a couple stocks and on we go with the recipe.  This week I made Brilliant Sauteed Broccoli

  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl or pot with half ice and half water. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli florets using a strainer with a handle if possible. Allow the broccoli to cook for 1 to 2 minutes until just tender. Immediately remove from the boiling water, using the strainer or draining, and transfer to bowl of ice to stop the cooking process. Immerse the broccoli completely in the ice water for a minute or two. Remove and place in a dish that has been lined with paper towels. This part can be done up to two days in advance.
  2. In a cup or small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese and brown sugar; set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Throw in the broccoli and season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to coat the broccoli, then cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and dust with the Parmesan cheese mixture.

Tips I Learned Along the Way

  1. Biggest tip I learned was while the steaming and shocking with cold water did retain the brilliance of the broccoli, I think it was an unnecessary step.  Several reviews that I read said you didn’t need to steam then saute, but I decided to do it anyway.  Next time I won’t.  I think it made the broccoli a little mushy (maybe I steamed too long) and really, just made more dishes for me to wash!
  2. I found the sugar to be unnecessary.  I didn’t notice any benefit to it nor did I notice an added sweetness.  Just empty calories.  Boo.
  3. After recently discovering the deliciousness that Parmesan cheese adds to brussels sprouts, I was pretty sure it would be the star ingredient of this recipe.  And it was.

The Result

I think this would turn out much better with just sauteing the broccoli and adding the cheese, salt and pepper.  Pretty simple.  It was a pretty green though.

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