Pan-Roasted Broccoli

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from The Wednesday Chef, where it was taken from this book, which discusses Heston Blumenthal’s method for cooking broccoli

Wash a head of broccoli (it doesn’t actually matter how much, just however much you have on hand).  Cut off the florets (the bushy part on top) so they’re all about the same size.  Peel the stalks (you can skip the peeling if you want) and slice them into thin rounds (1/2- to 1/4-inch thick).

Grab a heavy pan with a lid and heat some olive oil over high heat until it starts smoking (eyeball the amount depending on how much broccoli you have).  Throw all the broccoli in the pan and quickly cover it with the lid.  Let it cook for about two minutes without touching it.  Seriously, don’t touch it or peek!  Remove the lid, season with salt and pepper (and if you feel like it, throw in a tablespoon of butter – I skipped this step), and put the lid back on.  Use the pot’s handles to shake it, moving the broccoli around.  Let it cook for two more minutes.  Now, pull off the lid and grab a piece of broccoli with a fork.  Test to see if it’s cooked enough for you.  If yes, pull it off the heat.  If no, let it cook for two more minutes.

When you pull it off, the broccoli will be scorched in some places and bright green in others.   As Luisa says, “the swift, high-heat method concentrates the flavor of the broccoli, but still cooks the broccoli through so it’s yielding and almost creamy. The seared spots are toasty and delicious.”  Toasty and delicious.  Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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