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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Soy Lemon Broccoli

There are quite a few things that my father and I have in common. We have the same brown eyes (although I often long for my mother’s green eyes), we are both huge nerds (c’mon, PhD chemist here and chemical engineer there, there’s no denying it) and we both excel at calculus. Maybe that last one falls in with the second one… There is one thing that we share that no one else in my family does, a love of broccoli. My mother and brother won’t go near the stuff.

Broccoli (aka little trees) has long been a dinnertime staple in the Wilde kitchen. It just was never made in very large bunches. Growing up, we would get the packages of frozen broccoli from the giant and boil it up for dinner. The little trees would be passed around the table, mostly missing one half of the table. Mom, being a grown-up, was allowed to pass. Brother, being only a year older than me, was forced to put a few trees on his plate (where they would be pushed around for a while before being tossed in the garbage). My Dad and I would generously pile those little trees on our plates.

Personally, I was a big fan of the “leafy” part. I thought they had more flavor and were also way more interesting. The trunk of the tree was less appetizing, but I ate it nonetheless. Broccoli would make the rounds in the vegetable cycle. Corn, peas, green beans, broccoli, anything that the giant had frozen and sent to Wegmans, they all made their appearance in the vegetable cycle. Broccoli was a favorite in the line-up, I could have done without the frozen peas, they were gross.

It wasn’t until years later, living on my own, that I discovered the virtues of fresh broccoli. Buying a crown of broccoli and cooking it up yielded a far more flavorful result than frozen broccoli. Adding things to the broccoli, rather than just eating it plain? Genius.

This dish takes a whole of ten minutes to prepare. Make it when you have no idea what else to put on your plate; you will be very happy with yourself. It is the perfect combination of salty soy sauce and bright lemon. Try not to pair it with an overwhelming main course. Something simple like a roasted chicken or a plain steak would do the trick.

Soy Lemon Broccoli

2 cups broccoli florets

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp soy sauce

1. Heat olive oil in sauté pan to medium heat

2. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes

3. Add broccoli and 3 tbsp water. Cover and allow to cook for 5 minutes

4. Add lemon juice and soy sauce and cook uncovered for another 2-3 minutes.

5. If you find that you added too much water, but your broccoli is done, remove the broccoli and allow sauce to reduce and thicken, then pour over broccoli.
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