Broccoli Italian Design

What is there to say about this? It’s a classic and very simple Italian treatment for broccoli, and the Italians know their broccoli.

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I say 20 minutes prep time, but it divides into 2 sessions of about 10 minutes each; first you prepare all the ingredients and then 10 minutes before dinner is to be served, start cooking (I say 12 minutes in the recipe, to give the water a couple of minutes to come to a boil). This is a dish that requires last minute attention, but if you are organized in advance, it goes very quickly and easily. We had ours with some broiled fish which cooked in about the same time but required no attention while it was in the oven so that was a good choice.

Next time I’d like to use some better quality, coarser bread crumbs than what I had; they are prominent part of the dish after all. Still, we really enjoyed this a lot and I suspect I’ll be making it more often.

Odd as it sounds, I wonder if replacing the anchovies with a little miso rubbed into the crumbs would make a good vegetarian version?

2 to 4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Prepare:
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
4 to 5 anchovies
1/3 cup dry but coarse bread crumbs

Peel, trim, and mince the garlic. Put it in a small bowl with the chile flakes. Mince the anchovies and add them. Add the bread crumbs. Mix and set aside.

Continue & Finish:
4 to 5 cups broccoli florets
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons olive oil

Wash, trim, and cut the broccoli into florets. Peel the onion and cut it in half, then into slivers.

Exactly 12 minutes before serving time, put some water in a pot to cook the broccoli and bring it to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook the it for 5 to 6 minutes – essentially cooked, as it won’t really cook any more in the skillet.

Put the olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat when the broccoli has 2 or 3 minutes left to cook. Add the onions and cook, stirring regularly, until softened and reduced in volume. When the broccoli is cooked, drain it very well, and add it to the pan, Mix in well, cooking for a couple minutes until the broccoli and onions are well combined and any lingering liquid from the broccoli is gone.

Add the little bowl of crumbs, etc, and mix in well. Continue cooking and stirring until the broccoli is well-coated in the crumbs, the garlic is fragrant, and the crumbs are browning slightly. Transfer everything to a serving dish and serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Poblano Chiles with Corn & Onions (Rajas y Elote).