April 2, 2012 in Woolies Pantry
My gran lives in the UK and I vividly remember her visits when I was a child. In anticipation of her arrival, our fridge would be filled with things like grapefruit, broccoli and tonic water. Even now, when I see these things in my parents’ fridge, I know that Nan is on her way. The only change is that, now, a box of chocolates has joined the usual suspects.
I also remember my Nan making supper for my brother and I when my parents went out. It was either melted cheese on toast with Worcestershire sauce and tomatoes, or pasta with broccoli. I have always loved vegetables and often choose them over fruit, but when Nan dished up overcooked broccoli, I would chew the same mouthful for minutes at a time, pinching my nose closed to block the taste and smell!
I’m happy to say that those days are gone! Although I may still be a little scarred from my early experiences of broccoli, today it’s the one vegetable you’ll always find in my shopping basket. Tenderstem broccoli, that is. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to think of its bulky cousin with the same affection.
Even better, the Woolies’ Eat In for 4 for under R150 special offer which includes Tenderstem broccoli at a brilliant price.
Tenderstem broccoli is the better-looking, taller and more popular kid on the broccoli block. Here are a handful of ideas for using it.
1. Leave it raw and chop it finely, then toss it into a quinoa salad along with sundried tomatoes, feta and fresh chunks of smooth avocado. Keeping Tenderstem broccoli raw not only adds texture to your dish, but also retains its wonderful health properties.
2. Simply blanch it in a saucepan of simmering salted water for 30 seconds or so. I love eating it warm with an Asian-inspired dressing. This method of cooking retains the broccoli’s electric green colour and crunch and the slightly cooked florets soak up the wonderful flavours of the fragrant dressing, especially when drizzled over while the broccoli is still hot.
3. I also love, love, love broccoli soup! I blend it well to make it easy to drink, plus it’s super healthy, too. I often pour it into a shaker or a flask and take it to work and have it for lunch with half a tuna sandwich on wholewheat bread. Broccoli is low in calories and high in calcium, so it’s perfect if you aren’t getting your daily dose of milk.
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 600 g Tenderstem broccoli, chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and cubed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Low-fat plain yoghurt for serving
- 2 shallots, finely sliced, for garnishing
- Pink peppercorns for sprinkling
- For the olive oil rye flatbreads:
- 180 g rye flour
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Sea salt a pinch, plus extra for sprinkling
- In a large saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a gentle simmer, then add the broccoli and potato and boil gently for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Season to taste and serve hot, topped with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of shallots and pink peppercorns, with olive oil rye flatbreads on the side.
- To make the olive oil rye flatbreads, preheat the oven to 200°C. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rye flour with the olive oil, sea salt and ½ cup lukewarm water. Gently create a dough and knead until silky.
- Cut into 8 portions and roll out into rough oval shapes on a floured surface. Sprinkle with a little more salt, transfer to a greased baking tray and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crisp.
I know that I can’t possibly be the only one who shudders at the thought of Nan’s broccoli, but maybe you’ll come to enjoy its Tenderstem cousin like I have!
Find more of her recipes online at www.tastemag.co.za and follow her tips and tricks on Woolworths The Pantry where she has joined forces with other prominent SA bloggers to help you shop and cook like a chef.