Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quick Broccoli and Toasted Walnut Saute

Printable Recipe
 This super quick saute is my favorite way to get broccoli on the table with dinner at the last minute and it tastes so much better than the quick frozen kind which is too often globbed with cheese goo. If you follow the order of prep as I show it here you really can have this dish made in minutes.   For 2 cups of broccoli, you'll need 1/3 cup walnut pieces, 1 tbs butter and 2 tsp olive oil.  We'll also be using about half of one shallot.

Cut into bite size broccolettes and save those big ugly stems. They may look like stumps but inside is a tender little crunchy bonus I never toss out. Cut off any big branchy pieces from the main stem and then peel the hard skin away until you see the pale tender middle. Now slice this part crosswise into little disks about 1/8" thick so they'll cook at the same pace as the rest.  

Cover the broccoli pieces and microwave for one minute to barely soften.  While that's going on you can start the walnuts toasting in a dry pan that you'll also be using for the saute.  Just toss them in over medium heat and shake the pan to flip them a few times per minute for no more than 4 minutes or so until they smell fragrant but not at all edging toward burnt. Get down there close to that skillet and really give it a good whiff after about 3 minutes to be sure you don't cross that fine line over to Stinkyville. Dump them out as soon as they smell toasty.
Walnuts do not change color very much as they toast; not quite as obvious as a pecan or almond.   Next, we're going to use just about half of this shallot, rasped or grated fine to give just an extra umph to the pan. It will amount to only about a tablespoon of juicy pulp. I just grate it straight into the butter and olive oil as soon as the butter begins to foam in the pan. 

Using a mix of oil and butter will keep it from burning even though we're using med heat and moving fast. The shallot will brown very quickly, move it quickly around in the butter for a minute or less and then add the broccoli which will only need to be tossed briefly to coat. Salt and pepper the pan and add the walnuts back in, toss well, and you're done. Pan time altogether is literally about 5 or 6 minutes including toasting the nuts.

1 Small Head of Broccoli
4 oz Walnut Pieces
1 Shallot

This is our last week for Summer Fest at the Food Network website, but wait! Stay Tuned! Fall Fest is right around the corner and I'll be blogging with some of the best about more great ways to use whatever is fresh, in season, and coming in from the local farms. In the mean time, check out these Broccoli ideas from my fellow Summer Fest bloggers: 

What's Gaby Cooking: Charred Lemon Broccoli
Purple Cook: Pickled Broccoli Chips
From My Corner of Saratoga: Broccoli with Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette
Cooking Channel: Broccoli Stir-Fry
Virtually Vegan Mama: Vegan Broccoli Salad
Virtually Homemade: Broccoli Frittata
Zaika Zabardast: Char-Grilled Broccoli with Cherry Chilies and Garlic Tadka
Glory Foods: Steamed Broccoli-Vegetable Medley
Food2: Slammin' Broccoli Soup
Easy Peasy Organic: A Hands-On Approach to Eating Broccoli
FN Dish: Broccoli and Cheddar, A Perfect Pair

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