Posts Tagged ‘broccoli’

Spinach Quiche

This quiche is delicious and a good way to use spinach.  You can also use broccoli, cauliflower, or any other green in place of the spinach – just make sure to cook the vegetables first.  Also, if you are rushed for time, you can make the quiche without a crust, a crustless quiche – just grease the pie pan and cook for 5 or 10 minutes less.  This recipe is adapted from “The Way to Cook” by Julia Child ( Knopf).

For a 9-inch quiche.

2 TBS minced green onions, shallots or leeks
2 TBS butter
10 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed, washed, blanched and chopped (see below)
Seasonings: salt (optional), 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp nutmeg
The Custard: 4 “large” eggs blended with enough milk or 1/2&1/2 or cream to make 2 cups.
1/4 cup lightly pressed down, grated cheese – Swiss, monterey jack, colby or cheddar
a 9-inch pastry shell – for the flakiest crust, Julia Child recommends pre-baking the crust, but I usually just add the filling to the raw crust and bake.  See recipe for crust below.

1. The Filling: Preheat the oven to 375F.  Saute the shallots or onions or leeks briefly in the butter, add the spinach;  stir over heat until tender.  Season, let cool, and blend in the eggs and milk.

2. Filling and baking the quiche: Reserving 2 TBS of the cheese, strew the rest in the pie pan.  Pour in the spinach-custard mixture up to 1/4 inch of the rim.  Sprinkle on the remaining cheese; bake 35 minutes until puffed and brown.

3. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes, then eat.

To blanch spinach: place spinach in a pot of boiling water for about one minute.  Remove to a colander and run cold water over the spinach to stop the cooking and set the green color.  Then with a large spoon, press the spinach in the colander to force out as much water as you can.  Then put spinach on a cutting board and chop coarsely.

Making  a Pie Crust
This crust recipe is also from the cookbook “The Way To Cook” by Julia Child (Knopf).  I always receive compliments when I use it and it is not really all that difficult.  The recipe calls for a mix of all-purpose and cake flours, but I often use only all-purpose flour and still get a good crust.

For about 1 9-inch pie shell (with a little left-over dough that you can bake separately on a cookie sheet with brown sugar on top, for a treat)
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (scooped and leveled)
½ cup cake flour
1 tsp salt
6 oz (1½ sticks) chilled, unsalted butter, quartered lengthwise and diced
¼ cup (2 oz) chilled vegetable shortening
½ cup ice water, plus a couple teaspoons more, if needed

Have all ingredients measured and ready to use.  Put the flour, salt, and diced butter in a food processor and pulse (on-off half-second clicks) 5 or 6 times to break up the butter roughly.  Add the shortening, turn on the machine, and immediately pour in the ½ cup of ice water, then pulse 2 or 3 times.  Remove the cover and feel the dough – it should look like a bunch of small lumps, and will just hold together in a mass when you press a handful together.  (It’s important not to over-mix; it should not mass on the blade of the machine).  If too dry, pulse in a  teaspoon or two of water.  From now on work rapidly to keep the dough cold and manageable.

Turn the dough out onto your work surface; press it into a rough mass.  For the final blending, rapidly and roughly, with the heel (not the palm) of your hand, push egg-size clumps of dough out in front of you in a 6-inch smear. Again, it is important not to over-mix – what you want is layers of flattened butter lumps that barely hold together – this gives the crust the flakiness.

Form the dough into a cake – it should be fairly smooth and pliable.  Put into a resealable plastic bag (e.g a Ziploc bag) and refrigerate.  Freshly-made dough should chill 2 hours at least, allowing the flour particles to absorb the liquid, as well as to firm the butter and relax the gluten.

When ready to assemble the pie, put the dough on a work surface and roll out the dough about ¼-inch thick and about 1½ inches larger than the circumference of the pie plate.  Because the dough has such a high butter content, it is important to work quickly so the butter does not soften.  If the dough loses its chill and becomes difficult to handle (i.e., soft and sticky), return to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

When pie crust has been rolled out, roll up the dough on a rolling pin and transfer to the pie dish.  Cut edge and crimp with fingers or a fork.

Broccoli and Broccoli Raab on Bruschetta

This recipe is from the cookbook “Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmer’s Markets” by Deborah Madison.

This recipe is designed for Broccoli Raab, but also works for other greens such as beet greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens.

1 lb broccoli
1 large bunch broccoli raab or other greens
sea salt
2 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, 1 minced and 1 cut in half crosswise
several pinches red pepper flakes
2 TBS chopped oregano
aged red wine vinegar
4 large slices hearty country bread
1/2 to 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

1.Thickly peel the broccoli stems.  Coarsely chop the broccoli.  Coarsely chop the broccoli raab or other greens, including stems.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt, then the vegetables.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes, then scoop them into a colander to drain.  Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water.

3. Warm the 2 TBS oil in a nonstick skillet.  Add the vegetables along with a cup of the reserved cooking water, the minced garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano.  turn with tongs to mix in the garlic, then lower the heat.  make sure there’s ample liquid in the pan.  The greens shouldn’t fry, plus you’ll want the extra liquid to spoon over them.  Taste for salt, then season with a few drops of good, strong vinegar.

4. Preheat the broiler.  Toast the bread, then rub it with the halved garlic clove.  Immediately lay the cheese over the top, then broil until it begins to droop or bubble a little.  Transfer the toasts to plates, then cover them with the greens and their juices.  Add a few drops of olive oil to each, as well as any remaining pan juices.

Stir-fried Broccoli in black bean sauce

This is another Chinese-style way to cook broccoli.  It uses fermented black beans, which should be purchased at an oriental grocery store (you should buy the YangJiang brand).  The recipe is from “The Key to Chinese Cooking” by Irene Kuo (Knopf, 1980).

1 bunch broccoli, about 2 pounds
1 heaping TBS fermented black beans
1 or 2 large cloves garlic, coarsely choppped
2 quarter-size slices of fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
3 TBS oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock or water
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 TBS water
1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)

Chop broccoli into bite-size pieces.

Rinse fermented black beans briefly in water and shake dry in a colander, then chop them coarsely.  Prepare and measure out other ingredients.

Heat a wok or large, heavy skillet over high heat until hot; add the oil, swirl, and heat for 30 seconds.  Splash in the black beans, garlic, and ginger and stir briskly for 15 seconds.  Add the broccoli and stir and flip for 5 seconds.  Lower the heat to medium and continue to stir in fast turning motions until the green color deepens.  Add the salt, sugar, then the stock or water; cover and steam-cook sizzlingly for 2 1/2 minutes.

Uncover, stir a few times, restir the cornstarch mixture and add over the broccoli, tossing until the sauce thickens.  Pour into a hot serving dish and serve immediately – it is good only when piping hot.

Grilled Cheese and Broccoli Sandwich

4 big servings

This recipe is from the cookbook “Honest Pretzels (and 64 other amazing recipes for cooks ages 8 and up)” by Mollie Katzen. The author notes that other vegetables such as zucchini can be substituted for the broccoli.

⅓ cup plus 2 TBS olive oil
½ cup minced onion
2 cups chopped broccoli
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried thyme
8 slices bread (sourdough, rye, or wheat)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Measure 2 TBS olive oil and add to a frying pan. Put the pan on the stove on medium heat. Wait for 30 seconds and then add the onions. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, then add the broccoli, and sprinkle on the salt and thyme. Stir and cook for another 8 minutes, or until the broccoli is bright green and a little soft. Put frypan contents into a bowl and set aside.

Put ⅓ cup of olive oil in a small bowl. Dip a brush in the oil and paint each slice of bread on both sides with olive oil.
Put the frying pan back on the stove on medium heat.

Put 1 or 2 slices of the oiled bread in the pan and cook until the break is golden brown underneath – This will take a few minutes. Flip the bread over and turn heat to low. Us a spoon to put some of the broccoli mixture in the center of each piece of break in the frying pan. Sprinkle some cheese over the broccoli mixture. Cover the pan to help the cheese melt sooner. Wait for about 3 minutes. Serve when the cheese has melted.

Broccoli with Butter and Parmesan Cheese

The recipe is also from “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” by Marcella Hazan (1992, Knopf).  Cook the broccoli following the directions of the similar recipe “Sautéed Broccoli with Olive Oil and Garlic”.

1 bunch fresh broccoli, trimmed, cooked and drained
3 TBS unsalted butter
Salt (add less salt if you use salted butter)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Choose a skillet or sauté pan that will contain all the broccoli pieces without crowding them tightly, put in the butter, turn the heat on to medium, and when the butter foam begins to subside, add the cooked, drained broccoli and salt. Turn the broccoli over completely 2 or 3 times, and cook for about 2 minutes, then add the grated Parmesan cheese. Turn the broccoli over again, then transfer the contents of the pan to a warm platter and serve at once.

Sautéed Broccoli with Olive Oil and Garlic

This is an easy way to prepare broccoli, and can be used to cook other greens too, such as chard, kale, and any of the mustards including broccoli raab. The recipe is adapted from “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” by Marcella Hazan (1992, Knopf).

1 bunch fresh broccoli, (1 to 1½ lbs)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp chopped garlic or garlic scapes
2 TBS chopped parsley

1. Cut off about ½ to ¾ inch of the butt end of the stalk.  Use a sharp paring knife to slice away the tough darkgreen skin that surrounds the tender core of the main stalk and the branching-off stems. Dig deeper where the stalk is broadest because the skin is thicker there. Split the larger stalks in two, or if quite large, in four, without detaching the florets.

2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a fast boil. Add 1 TBS salt and as the water returns to a boil, drop in the broccoli. Adjust heat to maintain a moderately paced boil, and cook until the broccoli stalk can be pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes, depending on the vegetable’s youth. Drain at once when done.

3. Choose a sauté pan or skillet that can accommodate all the broccoli without crowding it too tightly. Put in the olive oil and garlic until it becomes colored a pale gold, then add the broccoli, slat, and the chopped parsley. Turn the vegetable pieces over 2 or 3 times to coat thoroughly. Cook for about 2 minutes, then transfer the contents of the pan to a warm plate and serve at once.

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