Nancy Singleton Hachisu recently put out a new cookbook, Preserving the Japanese Way. Her previous cookbook was a favorite of mine, so I was excited to get my hands on this. It’s mainly themed on pickling and preserving, and this recipe came up right when I had a small fuckton of broccoli on hand, so I was eager to give this a try.

The resulting broccoli has a great flavor from being macreated in the soy sauce, dashi, and red pepper flakes, and the katsuoboshi adds a lovely savory flavor to it, too. I doubled the recipe because of the sheer amount of broccoli I had, but will include the original amounts below.

Broccoli in Soy Sauce with Red Pepper

Ingredients

  • 3 heads broccoli
  • 6 T dashi (recipe here)
  • 8 T soy sauce
  • red pepper flakes to taste (original recommends 3 dried red chiles, crumbled roughly)
  • 2 T katsuoboshi flakes (you can find these at your local Asian grocery)

Bring a mediumish pot of water to boil, and have a bowl of cold water waiting in the kitchen sink. While the water comes to a boil, cut your main stem from your broccoli heads and discard, and then cut up closer to where the florets start, so that it’ll break down into lots of nice sized florets. Cut the upper stems that are left over into similar sized pieces.

Drop your broccoli into the boiling water, and cook for three minutes. While the broccoli cooks, mix together the dashi, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a medium sized bowl with a lid. Strain the broccoli from the boiling water, and then immediately put in the cold water. Run cold water from your tap over the broccoli until cooled, and then pat dry.

Once dried and cooled, toss the brocooli with the dashi/soy/red pepper mixture and then cover, Let macreate at room temperature for 30 minutes, then drain the mixture. If eating right away, sprinkle with the katsuoboshi and eat, but these can be stored for a few days in the fridge and still be good.

Nancy also recommends a version with yuzu or lemon peel at the end instead of the katsuoboshi, so I would recommend that if you can get your hand on it.

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If you have a CSA this time of year, you are likely to have a small excess of a fuck of a lot of broccoli. I tend not to like my broccoli raw, so I’ve been looking for some interesting recipes with it, and I can say the two I’ve tried the last two days definitely didn’t disappoint. These recipes are simple, quick, cheap, and delicious to boot. Here? All you have to do is roast the broccoli, brown the butter, toss in the panko and garlic, and boom, you’ve got a great tasting side dish!

Roasted Broccoli with Brown Butter Toasted Panko

Ingredients

  • 2-3 heads of broccoli, stems cut and broken down into florets
  • 2 T olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 T butter
  • .5 c panko
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat your oven to 425. Take your broccoli florets, and spread them out on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper to taste. Roast for fifteen minutes, and check where they are at. If you feel like flipping them do so, otherwise, roast for another ten minutes, until the edges are golden brown, and the stems of the florets are fork tender. 

During that last ten minutes, heat your butter in a small pan over medium heat, and keep swirling once it’s melted, until you get a nice light brown color and it’s nice and nutty smelling. This usually takes about five minutes. Once you’ve got it at that sweet point, add in the panko and minced garlic, along with a little bit of sea salt and pepper, and toast until the panko is nice and just barely browned from the butter, about two to three minutes. 

Right about then, the broccoli should be done. Remove your broccoli to your serving dish or storage container, toss with the panko, and enjoy!

When I do veggies, I usually tend to roast them, as I feel it brings out their flavors better, and honestly, I usually don’t like them raw. Broccoli is one of those veggies that tastes amazing when you cook it just right, and I think I may have found a new favorite recipe using it, especially when it’ll inevitably show up at the farmer’s market in abundance (and cheap as shit because there’s a glut and people don’t typically buy it). 

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve got a lot of recipes with lemon juice showing up lately. I actually kind of have a small trick for that. I don’t own a juicer (and kind of think it’s a waste of time), but what I do have is a local grocery store that does fresh squeezed juices, and expands their typical orange juices to include lemon (and occasionally lime) in the summer. It’s cheap (usually $1 for 8 oz of juice), way less effort than juicing a ton of lemons yourself, and the fresh squeezed makes it taste even more delicious. 

Crispy Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic
Lasts 3 meals as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh broccoli
  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • red pepper flakes
  • sea salt
  • finely grated lemon zest (from at least half a lemon)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice to finish

Preheat your oven to 425. Take a baking sheet, lay down some foil on it, and take half of your olive oil, and drizzle it on the foil, brushing it into the foil so that it’s evenly coated (see picture 3).

Take your broccoli, and slice through the stems as close as you can get to the bottom of the floret crown. The florets will naturally break into several large chunks, and you can break these down a little bit further to get a more manageable size like the first picture that you see above. Deb recommends peeling and cutting up the remaining stems, but I honestly wasn’t feeling in the mood to do that, so I skipped it. It is an option, though.

Mix together your remaining olive oil, red pepper flakes to taste, a bit of sea salt, your minced garlic, and lemon zest, and then toss with the florets to coat.  Spread the broccoli in a single layer in your prepared sheet, and then put it in the oven. Roast for twenty minutes, and then flip and move around the pieces with a spatula. Picture five is what your broccoli will look like after those first twenty minutes or so. I roasted mine for another ten minutes to get a good char on it, but not, say, burnt (see pic six). General rule is after that first twenty minutes check it every five minutes or so to see where it’s at. 

Before taking it out of the oven, take one of the smaller florets and taste it to be sure it’s to your liking. If it is, take it out of the oven, and then sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to your personal taste, and then enjoy the ridiculously good broccoli. (Or follow one of Deb’s riff suggestions; some of those sound real good.)