Broccoli gets a foodbod makeover..

 Lina, my fellow food blogger, is great at issuing cooking challenges – I thoroughly enjoyed the North Indian Curries challenge – and this month I took up her Creative Ingredient challenge…to those of us who responded to the challenge, Lina issued a vegetable for us to cook with. 

Yes, I cook vegetables daily, but I thought this might encourage me to cook with a vegetable I don’t often pick..and I was right: Lina gave me broccoli (Lina also gave me cauliflower, but having previously made so many cauliflower dishes – there’s been cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza base, cauliflower wraps, marinades, dips, so many cauliflower creations, all on my recipe index- I decided not to add more to the cauliflower arsenal! It doesn’t need any further assistance from me to get even more expensive!)  I rarely choose broccoli, and when I do, I tend to prefer the stems to the tops of the ‘trees’, I think the stems hold more flavour and a better texture. That’s just my view of course πŸ™‚ 

So I decided to push myself and play with the curly tree tops, which scream ‘crumb’ to me, and this is what I came up with…a crunchy zesty crumb of broccoli, nuts and spices.. 

To sprinkle over whatever you fancy, I sprinkled mine over this salad…it added crunch as well as flavour and colour…

So, time for the details…

The crumb

Ingredients

The florets from a medium sized bunch of broccoli

3-4 small garlic cloves

A handful of roasted unsalted hazelnuts

A handful of roasted unsalted cashews 

1/2 tbsp Aleppo (pul biber) red pepper flakes

1 tbsp sumac

1/2 tbsp olive oil 

Method

Place the broccoli in a glass bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water and cover with cling film; microwave on high for 6 minutes

Remove the broccoli and place in a colander to drain and cool

Once cooled, cut off the tops and keep the stems for the dip below

Place the curly tops of the broccoli in a food processor with all of the other ingredients 

Blend to a crumb, don’t let it go as far as a paste 

Then sprinkle over anything you can think of, like I did! Or stir it into some homous..of course! Tasty!!

 
    The salad


Ingredients
 

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and washed 

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Roasted ground cumin

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Several tablespoons of cooked quinoa

Method

Starting with the chickpeas, I put the chickpeas in a pan with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and cumin, and brought the liquid to the boil and simmered for on a low heat

I then (after eating several lovely spoonfuls from direct the pan!) left them in the pan overnight to cool and marinate

The next day I mixed the chickpeas with the chopped herbs, tomatoes and quinoa to serve 
 The dip 

Whilst I was playing around, I also put this dip together using the broccoli stems..

Ingredients 

Steamed and roasted broccoli stems

Several roasted cloves of garlic

Tiny pinch cayenne pepper

Salt

Plain homous

Plain yoghurt 

Method

I steamed the broccoli stems along with the trees for the broccolata, then roasted them with some peeled garlic cloves and a spray of olive oil 

Once they’re nicely roasted, I left them to cool then blended them with some homous I’d already made, a tiny pinch of cayenne and some natural yoghurt  

  Of course, I did then take things a step further…I decided to bake it at a low temperature and see if I could add some more crunch to it.. 

I spread the mixture in a thin layer across a baking tray lined with foil and baked for 20-25 minutes at 150c, checking constantly that none of it burnt, then turned the oven off, propped open the door slightly, and left the tray in the oven to dry out further. It worked really well.. 

It became really crispy and crunchy and zesty…and although it looks like bits are burnt, they really aren’t, the broccoli just coloured more than the rest..

and again, tasty over my leftover salad today… 

So, how’s that for something different? Possibly not what you might think of when you look at broccoli?! We know my brain works in mysterious ways….I had great fun playing with it, I hope that Lina and you like the outcome.

I did also do more with the rest of the broccoli that I bought, but I’ll save that for next time, for now I’m heading over to Fiesta Friday with my broccoli crumb and hoping that this week’s co hosts Julie, and Ashley like it πŸ™‚  

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57 thoughts on “Broccoli gets a foodbod makeover..

  1. sallybr

    Ok, the FIRST PRIZE FOR VEGGIE CREATIVITY goes for Elaine of Foodbod! πŸ˜‰

    serious stuff here, my friend! You know what I thought about using your crumb for? as a pasta “dressing”. I remember once enjoying a super simple plate of spaghetti with breadcrumbs and grated cheese as the topping, some parsley was in there too if I remember correctly, processed with the bread crumbs

    I think your broccoli “crumb”, after roasting would make an outstanding pasta topping!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      That sounds like an excellent idea! It’s like any kind of dukkah or crumbed topping idea really, you sprinkle it over a dish and add another dimension, just that this one includes broccoli! I’m really pleased with the outcome actually ☺️
      Thank you so much, I do love creating πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

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      Reply
  2. tentimestea

    Elaine, this sounds just incredible! I love how nice and crispy broccoli tips get when roasted, but I rarely roast broccoli as I prefer the stems cooked in other methods because sometimes I find they get a bit dried out/stringy when roasted. I never thought of separating the two to get the best of both (broccoli part) worlds! And then a broccoli stem dip! I already knew you were the cauliflower queen, but I think you also deserve “broccoli queen” as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Master of Something Yet

    We love broccoli in this house so I’m bookmarking this page for future reference when we’re drowning in broccoli from the garden in winter. πŸ˜‰
    PS Sourdough baking continues unabated. My starter is now so robust, I can forget to feed it for a while and with a bit of flour and water it just bounces right back. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. laurasmess

    So much deliciousness in this post! I love broccoli, it’s one of my favourite veg so I’ve never had trouble using it in my weekly cooking… but I am always on the lookout for new ways to use it! Definitely giving that spicy, nutty broccoli crumb a go (you are so creative!) as well as the dip. Yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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