Broccoli is a great vegetable in that it is pretty easy to prepare and has a mild flavor. I like to use a two step cooking method that starts with quickly blanching it in boiling water, this helps to soften the florets and makes them turn a brilliant bright green color. Then after draining, I add the broccoli to a saute pan with some olive oil, minced garlic and salt and do a very short saute to complete the cooking process and create more flavor.
When choosing broccoli in the store, look for a nice even green color with no blemishes or yellow spots. The broccoli stem should feel firm, soft stems or limp florets are a sign the vegetable is getting old. Store broccoli in the crisper drawer of the fridge until you are ready to use it. Broccoli should keep fairly well for about one week.
1 to 2 large heads broccoli
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
A paring knife
Pot for boiling water
Spatula or tongs
ProcedureSlice straight through the broccoli stem as close to the crown as you can get, just where the larger stem starts to break into smaller stems.
The crown should break into several large florets. Cut through the "trunk" of each floret to make pieces that are all about the same size.
Place these in a small bowl and run them under water to wash away any grit.
Add a tsp of salt and the broccoli florets and cook until just tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander.
Place pot back on the stove and bring the water back to a boil. Repeat steps with the remaining broccoli if needed.
3. Sauteing - here is where the flavor comes in.
Place a non-stick saute pan over medium high heat. Once hot (about 30 seconds later), add some olive oil, this is about 1 tablespoon.
Add the minced garlic and let sizzle about 10 seconds, not too long, just enough for the garlic to impart its flavor out into the oil.
Add the blanched broccoli florets to the pan and toss to distribute the olive oil and garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt, and then taste. Because you salted the cooking water, this may not need very much salt. Taste and add more if desired.
Place on a plate or bowl and serve.
I also like to sprinkle the broccoli with a little red pepper flakes. This is how my favorite Italian restaurant back on the East Coast used to serve it. Although theirs was dripping in olive oil and had enough garlic to ward off any vampires.
Serve and Enjoy!