Salty and aromatic, garlicky, and buttery soft broccoli! The dish has earned a spot on my favorite list. Thanks, Food52. The trick? Immerse the vegetable in boiling water (also known as blanching) for five minutes and then cook it with olive oil, garlic, chili peppers, and anchovies. Yes, anchovies! The result? Incredibly tender, savory, but yet sweet broccoli that would melt in your mouth.
I do mine slightly different from Food52‘s recipe. Here’s my adapted version:
- 1 bunch of broccoli (a bunch that would be enough for two people). I remove the florets by hands and make sure that they’re not too chunky.
- 8 anchovies (chopped). I use marinated ones. The original recipe asks for 4 anchovies but I think 8 make my dish much more flavorful. I believe anchovy is the key ingredient here 😀
- 3 garlic (chopped)
- 3—4 tablespoon of olive oil
- 4 hot finger peppers or 2 Thai peppers (chopped)
- Black pepper
- Fill 1/3 of a medium pot with water and bring to boil over medium heat
- Add broccoli florets into the water, cover the pot, and let simmer for five minutes
- Meanwhile, heat a medium pan (over medium heat) and add olive oil, garlic, anchovies, and chili peppers. Stir frequently and let them cook for one minute or until the anchovies start to melt in the oil. Reduce the heat.
- Once the five minutes of hot bath is done, drain the broccoli, and add into the pan
- Stir and mix the broccoli with the olive oil-anchovies concoction. Add black pepper. Cover the pan, lower the heat, cook for another three minutes (until the broccoli become soft), and then turn off the heat. Let the broccoli stay in the covered pan to soak the olive oil, anchovies, garlic, and peppers for at least half hour before serving. (The original recipe calls for 2 hours of cooking over low heat, but I find that my broccoli gets soft enough after the blanching, then the three-minute cooking with anchovies, and the half hour of resting in the covered pan. I think the heat gets trapped and continues to cook the vegetable for a while.)
Great to serve by itself, over rice, on top of egg noodle or pasta, or as a side dish to Yakiniku-style Beef and Sauteed Onion.
Inspired by a similar recipe using the same method of cooking, I tried my recipe above with carrots! I found that shredded or thin-sliced carrots work better for this method. I skip the blanching part and just cook the carrots directly in the anchovies-garlic-chili pepper infused olive oil. Stir and mix them well, cover the pan, lower the heat a bit, and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the carrots rest in the covered pan for half hour before serving. The mixture of anchovies, garlic, and chili peppers magically brings out the natural sweetness of the carrot. So good!
Hope you like it. Thanks for visiting!