Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

This recipe is the one I’ve referred to in many other posts as “my go-to broccoli recipe.” It’s about time I share it. It’s sooo easy to make and always turns out well unless you overcook it and end up with olive green broccoli. It’s happened to this distracted cook!

You can adapt the amount of crushed red pepper and garlic depending on your tolerance for heat and garlic breath. There’s one thing I do want to set straight here: garlic breath is not bad breath, it’s just garlic breath.

I don’t measure when I make this recipe. I use the amount of broccoli I have on hand and just wing the rest. The recipe is very cook-friendly. Feel free to add other vegetables, like mushrooms (as in my photo below) or red bell pepper.

If you normally throw out (or compost) your broccoli stems, shame on you! Seriously, don’t throw them out; try cooking them this way. Don’t worry, they taste like broccoli. We add broccoli florets to our salads and I save the stems so I can add them to this dish.

If this doesn’t grab your interest, here are some other broccoli dishes from my past:

raleigh freelance writer

Broccoli with Red Pepper Flakes and Toasted Garlic

You’ll need a large skillet with lid.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Broccoli florets and stems – florets chopped into fork-size pieces and stems sliced into ¼” pieces (about 1 head)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1-½ teaspoons fresh basil or ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1-½ teaspoons fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken broth
  • Optional – grated Parmesan

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, salt, red pepper, basil, thyme and garlic. Sauté a few minutes. It’s okay if the broccoli caramelizes (gets a bit brown), it adds to the flavor.

Add 1/4 cup water or broth. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for a few minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender (or however you prefer it). If the pan is drying out too much and you’d like to cook the broccoli longer, add a bit more liquid for extra steaming time.

Sprinkle with Parmesan before serving, if you wish.

Original recipe: Broccoli with Red Pepper Flakes and Toasted Garlic, Cooking Light, March 2007

One thought on “Broccoli with Garlic and Hot Pepper

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