Broccoli and Kiwi

October 9, 2009

While all fruit and vegetables are good for you; in recent years research has shown that some varieties are especially worth including in your diet,  mainly because they have lots of antioxidants; which help to protect against all kinds of cancers, heart disease and other bad stuff. These are  the “superfoods”  I’m sure you’ve all heard about and  include Broccoli, Blueberries, Oranges, Beans, Oats, Pumpkin, Soy, Salmon, Tea, Tomatoes, Walnuts, Yogurt and…… Dark Chocolate! (further proof that God is indeed a woman).Unfortunately, when it comes to the chocolate we only need a little to get all the benefits but at least it means that wolfing a full bar of Green and Blacks on a Friday evening on the sofa isn’t all bad……….. When it comes to the veggies however, as much and as often as possible is the rule and that’s the reason Broccoli is almost always in our bags every week. Vitamins A, B1,B2 B3, B6 and C (just one cup gives you your recommended daily dose), Folic Acid, Iron (which is absorbed easily by the body due to the Vitamin C content), Beta-carotene (an antioxidant that protects against certain cancers), Magnesium, Potassium (both great for nerve function) and Zinc (keeps your immune system in shape) all mean that it’s essential.

Broccoli is so easy to include in your diet  because you can cook it so many ways. It’s fantastic straight up with nothing more than a dressing of  Olive Oil and a tiny pinch of Sea Salt or you can put it with Asian flavors like Ginger and chili in a simple stir-fry or it works really well with Mediterranean flavors like Garlic, Parmesan and Anchovies. Try steaming or boiling florets and serving them with a dipping sauce like Aioli (Garlic Mayonnaise) or Bagna Cruda (Garlic and Anchovy Sauce) for a really simple starter or snack. As a side dish it’s fantastic sauteed with Bread crumbs or Pinenuts. If you’re after a maincourse,  Pasta is a great way to go and it’s a dish that takes about 15 minutes to put together…….

Pasta with Broccoli, Garlic and Pinenuts (for two)

You’ll need:

400gr Broccoli

4 Cloves Garlic

Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Pinenuts

Parmesan

There are two ways to approach this. If your Broccoli is spanking fresh as it is today you can break it up into bitesized florets, steam it and then add it to the dish. If, however, your Broccoli comes from the back of the fridge, seems a little past it’s bestby date you can  chop it up quite small and throw it on the pan after the Garlic has had about 2 minutes, and cook it down for about 10 minutes adding a drop of water until it starts almost falling apart and you get a slightly different but very tasty version of the dish below.

Begin by steaming the florets of Broccoli. While they are steaming you can boil water for Pasta then get the pasta cooking (any shape bar Spaghetti will do) To make your sauce, roughly chop the Garlic and gently sauté them in a generous dash of Olive Oil over a medium heat. As they start to soften (do not let them burn and if they do you’re better off starting again as they’ll make everything horribly bitter) throw in the Broccoli and toss over a medium heat adding more Olive Oil if necessary. After a couple of minutes add the Pine nuts and continue tossing for another minute or two before seasoning  with Salt and freshlyground Pepper. By this stage your Pasta should be about done. Drain it and add it to the Broccoli and mix everything together adding freshly ground Parmesan Cheese. Serve Immediately.

Variations:There are loads, this is a dish I cook and vary a lot. Try frying some Chili or a couple of pounded Anchovies with the Garlic at the beginning, adding some Lemon Juice at the end, using Feta or Goat’s Cheese instead of the Parmesan, throwing in few Sundried Tomatoes sliced into strips or Black Olive  towards the end.

If you fancy something more Asian in flavor, as I mentioned above Broccoli works really well. Try this recipe instead……

Sautéed  Broccoli with Garlic and Chilli and Sesame Seeds

Wash and break your Broccoli into large bitesized florets. Gently steam for a couple of minutes until al dente (i.e. cooked but still very firm). Heat some Vegetable Oil on a wok or pan and throw in  2 or 3 cloves of chopped Garlic and some red Chilli (the quantity is up to you). Allow the Garlic to soften but don’t let it change colour as it will burn in a very quickly after that, then throw in the Broccoli. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes, remove from the heat and add a splash of toasted Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce and some toasted Sesame Seeds (to toast your Sesame Seeds simply throw 2 Tablespoons on a dry pan and roast over a medium heat until they start to change colour and pop). Serve immediately.

New Season Oranges haven’t quite kicked in yet (we’re getting some but not enough) so we’ve included Kiwis in all our selections with fruit this week. These guys have even more Vitamin C than Oranges so are great for this time of year when the change in temperature means we’re all more susceptible to catching colds and flus.If you fancy using them to make a quick desert this fool recipe couldn’t be easier….

Kiwi Mess with Creme Fraiche and Ginger Nut Biscuits

You’ll need:

4 Kiwis

100gr Creme Fraiche

4 Ginger Nut Biscuits

3-4 teaspoons syrup from a jar of stem Ginger – this is a lovely touch but not essential so if you don’t have it just use some icing sugar.

Peel and cut the fruit into chunks. Stir the syrup or icing sugar into the Creme Fraiche and set aside. Roughly crush the biscuits – rolling pin or bottom of a bottle will work for this. Toss everything together and decant into some nice bowls or old-fashioned low champagne glasses (charity shops always good for this kind of thing). Yum!!

By the way, if you’re wondering what to do with this week’s Butternut there’s a fab soup with Thyme and Parmesan on this blog- perfect for a rainy day (Urghhhhhhhhh!)

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3 Responses to “Broccoli and Kiwi”

  1. Brendan Says:

    Brocolli pasta is a big hit in my house and we have it nearly every week! We do it Roman style (from my wife’s side of the family) with chilli instead of the pine nuts and the brocolli well obliterated with whole garlic cloves in the frying pan. A good trick with this type of “dry” pasta, is to retain half a cup of the water the pasta has cooked in before draining it and add a little to the pasta/ broccoli mix in the pan to get the ingredients to stick together properly.

  2. Lazaro Miu Says:

    A exquisite Blog about how to cook VEGETARIAN dishes.


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