Though we are all fans of quickly cooked,
bright green vegetables, some green vegetables, such as cabbage, green
beans, broccoli and hardy greens like kale and chard, are actually more
flavorful when cooked slowly in a covered pot (braised). They lose some of
their bright green color, but the loss is more than compensated for by
their deep and satisfying flavor, especially when they are cooked with
ingredients such as garlic, hot chilies and bacon.
Start with enough water or stock to come
about one quarter of the way up the vegetable. This will be just enough
liquid so that the vegetable cooks in, and is flavored by, its own
Monitor the heat so that the liquid
stays at a gentle simmer. The idea is to control the rate of evaporation
so that the liquid completely evaporates by the time the vegetable is
completely cooked, but not before. If the liquid is evaporating too
quickly, turn down the heat or add more liquid as needed. If it is not
evaporating quickly enough, turn up the heat and/or remove the lid.
The vegetable is done when the liquid
has completely evaporated and the vegetable has a melting texture.
1. Cut the stalks off the florets
and peel the stalks with a vegetable peeler.
2. Cut the stalks lengthwise into
quarters. Group the strips together and cut across into pieces.
Gently cook sliced garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Stir in the
chopped broccoli stems and the florets and add enough water or stock
to come about one quarter of the way up the broccoli.
Cover and cook over low to medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring
every 5 minutes and checking to make sure the pan isn't dry (Add a
little more liquid if necessary). If there's any liquid left in the
pan after 30 minutes, cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes more to
Braised broccoli served on toasts and garnished with anchovy fillets
and strips of grilled red bell pepper (capsicum) makes a savory dish.