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A Twist on a Surprising Sauce (It’s Broccoli)

Surprises aren’t always welcome. Neither, for some people, is broccoli. Just try cooking some in your office microwave and see what a reaction you get. Experience says that it will be enthusiastic in all the wrong ways. But, enthusiasm can also sell you on something, and in this case it makes even broccoli attractive. This is due to the ardor and excitement Tea and Cookies brought to  her discovery of Laurie Colwin’s broccoli application in her The Amazing Incredible Broccoli Surprise Sauce post.

The procedure is basic, and I found following these steps nicely soothing after a long day at the office.

  • Cut up the broccoli, stems included. No need to peel.
  • Steam it all until just fork tender.
  • Sauté for a few minutes with garlic and olive oil.
  • Run through a food processor with more olive oil, some lemon juice, and pasta water (from the pasta you were cooking alongside the broccoli).
  • Toss with pasta, or eat as is, or put on crostini, etc.

Since I can’t leave well enough alone, I added some red pepper flakes to the sautéeing broccoli and garlic, and also let it all cook down with a generous pour of dry vermouth (white wine wold work too). Then, in the food processor, I went easy on the lemon juice and added some crumbled feta. I served this sauce mixed with whole wheat spaghetti, and without any other added cheese. It was delicious. Not surprising that. Just leave the leftovers at home to avoid provoking your co-workers with the microwave.

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