Friday, September 24, 2010

Broccoli Almondine

I usually like to go to the store, see what kind of produce looks good, and go from there. Some days, though, everything looks wilty, or there's really just nothing to choose from. But usually, there's broccoli. It's like that old dress that's kind of boring, but it's comfortable, and sometimes you just can't come up with anything else to wear.

This old stand-by veggie can be simply steamed and tossed with some salt and pepper, which is what I do when I'm feeling like a fatty, but that sometimes feels like vegetables as punishment. But add some shallots, a little bit of butter, and some sliced almonds, and you have broccoli magic.

Broccoli Almondine

(Serves 2 if you like a lot of veggies)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 crowns of broccoli, about 5 inches each in diameter
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Optional: about a teaspoon lemon juice
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the shallots. Cook the shallots until they are very tender, but not quite caramelized (about 20 minutes).

In the meantime, cut the broccoli into little florets and wash well. If your broccoli crowns came with the stems attached, peel them, then chop them up into similar-sized pieces--they're delicious. Steam the broccoli until it is tender, but still green (not brownish), about 7 minutes.

When the shallots are ready, add the almonds to the skillet and cook until they get just a little bit of color, about 2 minutes. If everything is looking really dry at this point, add more butter. Add the broccoli to the pan, add salt and pepper to taste, and toss to combine. Add the lemon juice if you like.

Note: The broccoli can be steamed a few hours ahead of time, and the shallots can be softened a few hours ahead of time. When you're ready to serve the dish, rewarm the shallots on medium-low heat, increase the heat to medium-high and add the almonds, then add the broccoli and warm through.

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