Cook's Country (December 2015/January 2016)
Sometimes we wonder why we even have a microwave.
Sure, we use it on occasion to heat up leftovers or, say, steam a sweet potato. But we're fortunate to have a great gas oven and range, and we can literally boil water faster on the stovetop than we can in the microwave. So even for simple tasks like steaming fresh vegetables, we tend to use a saucepan and steamer basket on the stove.
We'll sometimes go for weeks without nuking anything.
So we were interested in this microwave broccoli recipe from Cook's Country. Broccoli can be super easy to steam in the microwave, but we often end up with watery florets and rubbery stalks. Could Cook's steer us in a better direction?
The other flavors -- salt, olive oil, lemon, oregano -- are simple but very tasty.
We weren't expecting to like this as much as we did. Obviously, this is a simple and straightforward dish. But it's a great side dish, and we're always happy to learn about a smarter way to make use of our microwave.
(Which reminds us: It's high time we made that Microwaved Molten Chocolate Cake again...)
FROM COOK'S COUNTRY:
You can steam and boil broccoli, but microwaving it is a faster and easier method. Another plus is that the broccoli is perfectly cooked and brilliant green every time. The microwave uses electromagnetic waves to penetrate the broccoli, steaming it from the inside. Careful cutting is essential to even cooking. We found it best to cut the florets into 1-inch pieces and use a vegetable peeler to trim the exterior of the fibrous stems before cutting them into 1/2-inch cubes. A small amount of salt enhances flavor and keeps the color bright. Since acidic dressings cause broccoli to brown, we toss the hot broccoli with extra-virgin olive oil flavored with lemon zest and oregano to enhance its flavor.
1 1/2 pounds broccoli
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Trim broccoli florets from stalk. Cut florets into 1-inch pieces. Trim and discard lower 1 inch of stalk. Using vegetable peeler, peel away outer 1/8 inch of stalk. Cut stalk into 1/2-inch chunks.
Place broccoli in bowl and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Microwave, covered, until broccoli is bright green and just tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk oil, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in bowl.
Drain broccoli in colander, then return to bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.