Heavenly Buttery Soft Broccoli

Vegetable Recipes

A new favorite Brocolli cooked with anchovies by Harini

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:

(Serve 2)

  • 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!

Carrot cooked in anchovies-garlic-chili peppers infused olive oil by Harini

Hope you like it. Thanks for visiting!


Sweet Peppers with Artichoke Hearts Salad – A Side to My Mini Burgers

Vegetable Recipes

I’m finding more things to like: roasted sweet peppers. They make such a wonderful side dish. These pretty and colorful little things complement savory dish very well. Recently I mixed them with artichoke hearts, another fave, and served alongside my turkey and halibut mini burgers. The result? The three make a  superb combination, light but substantial. Definitely a great springtime dinner menu.

Inspired by a fellow blogger’s post at We Call Him “Yes! Chef!”

Here’s what we will need:

  • A bunch of sweet peppers (mini or regular ones are fine – I happened to have the mini ones for at the time)
  • A jar of marinated artichoke hearts (halved)
  • A tablespoon of olive oil

Steps (while my turkey patties and halibut fillets are grilling outside):

  • Drizzle olive oil on the peppers and mix with both hands. Place on a baking sheet
  • On a separate baking sheet, place the halved artichoke hearts
  • Set the oven to broil
  • Place both peppers and artichoke hearts in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the peppers’ skin turn darker
  • Take both out of the oven
  • Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap to steam. Then the skin can come off easily
  • Chop the peppers and mix with artichoke hearts
  • Serve on the side of these guys:

Super Easy Chunky Vegetable Soup – A Side Dish

Vegetable Recipes

A good friend of mine once mentioned that she didn’t like vegetables… any vegetables. Then I found out that this dear friend had what I’d call: a plain-steamed-canned-vegetables “trauma”. ¡Ay! I’d also suffer such a negative association if I had been exposed to such boring and processed vegetables only. Thankfully, now, with the help of her husband my friend has been more open to trying vegetable dishes. Much to her surprise she found a lot to like! 

I enjoy vegetables very much. I cook them as a side dish to pair with my meat or fish entrée all the time. One super easy and simple recipe that I enjoy is this chunky vegetable soup. I’d serve the soup alongside my more complex dish: braised and broiled chicken. The vegetable soup’s simplicity, wonderful flavor and texture, and warmth complete a great homemade lunch or dinner especially during these colder months.

Here’s how I do it:

  • Heat up a tablespoon of canola oil in a small pot
  • Finely chop a half of sweet onion
  • Brown the onion and a teaspoon of minced garlic in the small pot
  • Add 3-4 cups of chicken stock, bring to boil (My important ingredient in vegetable dish recipes)
  • Chop two carrots and half of cauliflower into big chunks. (Add more crunchy vegetables like green beans, celery, or broccoli if you like. Feel free to adjust the cut size to your preference too.) Avoid overcrowding the pot.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • For great aroma, add a pinch of nutmeg powder (Really, just a tiny pinch. You want to avoid overpowering the soup with nutmeg’s poignant aroma.)
  • Once the chicken stock starts bubbling then the vegetables can swim in it until they are fork tender. Cover with a lid.
  • Turn of the heat and let the soup cool down before serving. That way the vegetables have more time to absorb the chicken stock flavor.

There are many ways to transform different vegetables into delicious dishes. Most require little effort and creativity. You’d be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy!

More vegetable dish recipes:

Spinach and Corn Soup

Kale Braised in Coconut Milk

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts

Spicy Eggplant

Have a favorite vegetable dish? Please share! Would love to learn more delicious vegetable recipes.