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My New Favourite Broccoli Recipe

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.

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cheesey broccoli recipe-2

Cheesey Broccoli

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.

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Variations

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.

Prepare Ahead?

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!

With love,
Jules x

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Shags 19 February, 2014, 9:49 am

    I’m glad you’ve discovered this new way of (LOL what I call it) stir-steaming, about time Luv, I’ve been doing this for years!

  • Karen 19 February, 2014, 2:15 pm

    I’m glad to see you doing what I’ve been doing for years because it never even occurred to me to dry my vegetables…(who has time for that? What do you dry them with?) and it’s so easy to just throw everything in a pan. I honestly think I eat a variation of this 3-4 times a week, but now I don’t have to feel guilty about it anymore: since a person who actually knows how to cook well and makes delicious things does it too! Thanks! :)

  • Laura 19 February, 2014, 5:02 pm

    Just cooked up a half batch of your cheesy broccoli + added in a tea spoon of homemade tomato pesto with the chilli, for my next two lunches, with a side of moroccan couscous and a boiled egg for protein! yummo! I wish it was tomorrow, lunchtime already!

  • NovaStar (www.star-psyche.co.uk) 19 February, 2014, 8:48 pm

    I’ve always steam-fried as well – it’s one of my favourite ways of cooking cabbage, kale and courgettes :)

  • Dorothy Karman 19 February, 2014, 9:10 pm

    I like the sound of your fried/steamed vegetables. I am going to try it out.

  • KL 20 February, 2014, 5:35 am

    I actually have the same approach with different way: I start by frying with little oil, then when the pan gets hotter and things start to fry add just a little bit of water (often also turn the heat down a bit). This hack started since I always forgot to turn down the heat after the pan had warmed up and there was severe risk of burning something…but I quickly noticed it does work wonders and requires less burning of anything.
    It’s still a great invention :)

  • TheFakeGourmet 21 February, 2014, 12:13 am

    I know what you mean about Google. It used to be that whenever I had a “new” idea for a dish, especially a dessert, I could look on Google for recipes for the different elements to be combined in my “new” way. Now, as often as not, I find a full-blown recipe for the whole thing. Sigh.

  • Gloria 10 March, 2014, 9:36 am

    I am anxious to try this recipe, I love Broccoli and the comment that Laura made adding pesto sounds delicious to me . . I will give this recipe a try. ;v)

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