There’s a new method of cooking vegetables I’ve been experimenting with for a while now. I use the term ‘new’ loosely because I’m sure if I googled it there would be millions of references to my new technique.
Sometimes, especially when I have a new idea when I’m cooking, I like to pretend that Google doesn’t exist so my new idea can stay ‘new’. Well at least to me.
Do you ever do that? Or is it just my craziness?
Anyway, back to this technique…
I’ve been calling it ‘steam frying’ and basically it involves rinsing your veg and leaving a lot of the moisture on. Then it’s about heating a little oil in a frying pan or pot, adding the veg and cooking with a lid on until the veg are as tender as suits your mood.
I love it for a few reasons.
First it’s pretty quick. Second it make veg taste super delicious. There’s still the bright, fresh flavours you’d normally associate with steamed veg but they’re more concentrated and have the added complexity of the pan fried notes.
I also love it because it makes an awesome one pot meal so it’s easy on the cleaning up.
Our recipe this week showcases this new technique. The thing that makes this recipe extra tasty is to add a little chilli fire and some rich cheesey goodness. Both of which stops your broccoli from being too goody-two-shoes.
I made this the other night for a ‘batchelorette’ dinner because my Irishman was out. I was craving something healthy but also cheesey and comforting. Talk about hitting the spot! If you have coconut oil, I really recommend using it because it adds a lovely subtle coconutty sweetness which sounds weird but actually works really well. Of course if you don’t have any, butter or olive oil are just as good.
enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
4-5 tablespoons coconut oil, olive oil or butter
2 heads broccoli
2-6 small red chillis chopped, optional
4 large handfuls grated cheese
1. Heat oil in a frying pan or skillet over a medium heat.
2. Rinse broccoli and don’t dry as the water will help the broccoli to steam. Slice broccoli stems finely then chop the top into bite sized chunks. I just hack through it with a knife but you’re welcome to chop into individual ‘trees’ if you like.
3. Add broccoli and chilli to the oil. Cook, covered for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. You’ll need to stir a few times. If it starts to burn add a little water.
4. Add cheese and stir until well combined and just melted.
different veg – also great with cauliflower or broccolini. And in springtime I’m planning on trying some cheesey asparagus. I’m also thinking it would work well with snow peas, green beans or kale sliced into thin ribbons.
more substantial – serve with a handful of nuts, or a little cooked quinoa or a poached egg or toss in a drained can of chickpeas and add a little more cheese.
carnivore – serve as a side to a well grilled juicy steak or chicken breast.
different cheese – I used a combo of parmesan and emmental but any melting cheese is good here. Try raclette, gruyere, cheddar or even some blue. It’s a good way to use up little scraps of cheese floating around the fridge.
tiny person-friendly – skip the chilli or serve it separately so everyone can add their own.
The broccoli can be cooked without the cheese and stored for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Or indefinitely in the freezer. To serve warm in a frying pan and then stir in the cheese as per the recipe.
Have fun in the kitchen!
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