A Horror Story:
Written by: Nikki Dinki
Sue and her date go to a local restaurant for a nice meal out. Sue orders the salmon, her date the steak and each meal comes with a side of vegetables. They chatter, flirt and then...the meal comes...all they can do is stare in horror at their plates.
It’s not the salmon or the steak that get their attention but that sad, mushy, flavorless, over-steamed broccoli thrown haphazardly on the plate. It’s blatantly obvious that no one at this restaurant cares about broccoli. And being advocates for Broccoli’s rights (ABRs they call themselves) they get up and march out of the restaurant.
For they know, as I do, that broccoli should NEVER be treated this way...
You see, I didn’t always love broccoli, I’ll admit it. The green tree-like vegetable and me had a bumpy relationship at first. But how can anyone fall in love with this green goddess when she is so often treated and dressed, so poorly?!
To make broccoli shine there are many things you can do. Roasting it to give it a little bit of a charred and smoky flavor is a good start.
Pairing it with meaty and sweet roasted garlic and caramelized onions is also smart.
And then balancing that with tart and acidic pomegranate seeds and juicy tomatoes?! Well that, that is very good!
And then, of course, why not just wrap it all in a taco! Because who doesn’t love a taco?!
And don’t worry, I’ll stick to cooking and not fiction writing...
2 Bunches Broccoli, cut into 1inch pieces
1 Head of Garlic
2 Vidalia Onions, chopped small
1 link Hot Italian Sausage (optional)
1/2cup Parmesan, grated
¼ cup Sour Cream
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Lemon, zest and juice
1 15oz can Garbanzo Beans
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Salt and Pepper
¼ cup Toasted Pine Nuts
¼ cup Scallions,thinly sliced
¼ cup Pomegranate Seeds
Put Broccoli pieces on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes until it is tender and slightly charred around the edges. In the same oven roast the head of garlic. Click here for HOW TO ROAST GARLIC
While broccoli and garlic roast in the oven caramelize the onions in the 2tbs of butter over medium low heat. Takes approximately 30 minutes. Also, take sausage out of it’s casing and brown in a pan over medium heat until cooked through. Set aside.
Pulse roasted broccoli, roasted garlic, and caramelized onion in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Put mixture back in pan that you used to caramelize the onions. Add Paprika, parmesan, sour cream, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to the mixture and stir until well combined. Cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans and cooked sausage and gently fold into broccoli mixture. Cook for 3 more minutes until everything is heated through.
Spoon mixture into small tortilla shells. Top with scallions, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds.
Makes 8 small tacos
- Leave out the sausage for a completely vegetarian meal. The chickpeas add extra protein making this a complete meal
- The carmelized onions add another layer of meaty flavor but simply sauteed onions would work great also
- Pomegranate seeds are fun but totally optional