I posted this recipe in early May and just now saw an interesting article about the best cooking method for broccoli–thought I should add that information to this intro. Dr. Elizabeth Jeffrey is a nutrition researcher at U of Illinois where she studies cancer preventive compounds in broccoli. She says that to optimize the concentration of these compounds in broccoli it needs to be bought fresh (NOT FROZEN) and lightly steamed (NOT RAW, NOT MICROWAVED, AND NOT BOILED). Boy, was I glad to read that; now I know that the way I’m inclined to prepare it is the best method for maximizing its detoxifying power.
Original post: Learning how to prepare vegetables so that they are appetizing and retain nutrients is a must if you want to improve your health with a good diet. Broccoli is easily overcooked into a drab green, limp mess. Give this simple recipe a try if you need to prove to yourself just how tasty broccoli can be. Avoid frozen–fresh organic broccoli is widely available year round. I always have some in my refrigerator. I try to keep shiitake mushrooms on hand too as they are the perfect addition when you want to add some heft to a vegetable dish or soup. It’s a bonus that both broccoli and shiitakes are full of powerful immune system-enhancing phytonutrients.
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
6 medium-sized shiitake mushrooms
salt and pepper
Wash and cut broccoli into florets. Peel the tough outer skin of the broccoli “trunk” and discard the peels, and then slice the core you have left into 1/4 inch slices. Place broccoli in a vegetable steamer with about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan and set aside waiting to steam until right before serving. Remove mushroom stems and keep for vegetable or meat stocks (they are too woody to eat but will add flavor to soups or stocks–just remove and discard the stems after the stock is cooked) Clean the mushroom caps with a damp paper towel and then chop them into 1/2 inch pieces. Melt ghee in a medium sized skillet over medium heat and using a garlic press, crush garlic into the skillet. Stir until just starting to sizzle (don’t allow to brown and be sure to continue to stir until you add the mushrooms). Add chopped mushroom caps to the skillet and stir over medium heat. Turn off the heat after 2 minutes of stirring. Add salt and pepper, stir. Now it’s time to cook the broccoli. Bring broccoli to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Steam and keep the lid on until just tender when pierced with a fork—do not leave your broccoli now or it may overcook. As soon as broccoli is tender add it to the skillet and stir well (discard the water in the bottom of your vegetable steamer or you can save it in the refrigerator for vegetable stock for soups). Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.