Friday, April 10, 2009

Broccoli Mish Mash

Broccoli has been my favorite vegetable since childhood. Yes I love kale, collards, chard (the list could go on), but broccoli holds a very special place in my heart. It's got everything: crunch, texture, sweetness and can hold up to a variety of spices and flavors. Steam it, roast it, saute it, my beloved broccoli can take it all. However there is one way of preparing broccoli that I've always found sacrilege: pureeing. Why, why would anyone puree broccoli? To be honest, I'm not much a pureed anything type of girl. My mouth likes to work for its food and I find that when things are pureed, I simply swallow.

This entire topic comes up because over the last few weeks I've been on a low-fiber diet, trying to give my digestive system a break. Of course I haven't given up my fibrous veggies but I have started preparing them in a way that makes them easy to breakdown. Welcome pureed broccoli! And may I just say, it is quite good. Here is the recipe I've created but feel free to play around with it. I use either homemade chicken or beef stock which adds an enjoyable depth of flavor. I also with throw in some cauliflower or kale to mix it up.

Pureed Broccoli
(makes about 2-3 side servings)

1/2 pound broccoli florets and stems (do not throw the stems away. They add a lovely starchiness. Just peel, chop and you are ready to go)
1/4-1/2 cup chicken, beef, vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons good quality Parmesan (no green can)
1 teaspoon of organic butter or olive oil
pinch of salt

Place the liquid in a small pot and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. You want the broccoli to still be green, not gray but mushy, not al dente. Once cooked, transfer broccoli to a bowl, add butter or oil, salt and puree with a hand immersion blender. You can also mix everything together in a food processor or blender. Gently stir in cheese to disperse it throughout the broccoli. Taste to adjust the seasoning and enjoy!

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