Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Kingdom of Broccoli

In a season of greens, broccoli rules the farm with it's flashy crowns. Though the florets are the most popular in recipes, I'll tell you a little known secret- the stem is the best part. Perhaps unconventional, I eat the stems- raw or cooked- and toss the florets. I jest, but it pains me to read the part in broccoli recipes where we are directed to "discard" the thick stems. I suppose if I was cooking with food that has sat and become tough, I would "discard" too. Queens are not accustomed to waiting, so as the adage goes... "off with their heads."
Lucky for us, our broccoli stems are sweet and tender. Branch out about 2 extra inches and give it a try this week.

This is a Marco Shaw recipe adapted from the Farm to Table Cookbook, by Ivy Manning
Seared Broccoli and Sweet Onion Salad

1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb broccoli (including stems) cut into 1/4 in thick spears
1 small sweet onion, sliced into 1/4 in half moons
pinch of sage or dill or any other herbs you like
2 oz soft goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat a large, heavy bottom sauté pan or cast iron skillet over high heat. Pour in the remaining oil, carefully add the broccoli and onions, and sauté until the broccoli turns bright green and is charred in places, about 3 minutes. Add the sage or other herbs and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. (it's important to cook the vegetables without overcrowding; you may want to sauté them in batches)

3. Place the vegetables in a serving bowl and toss with the vinaigrette and add the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.


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There is plenty of gozo at Rio Gozo Farm. That is JOY in Spanish and joy is one of the most dependable products we have. Gozo is commonly found in gardens and farms. Once you get a little gozo up and going it is very tolerant of most pests, withstands dry periods, and grows with a modicum of fertilizer. After gozo becomes a staple of one's diet, it goes with about anything. Actually folks crave it so much it is a wonder everyone does not have a patch of it growing close at hand. Grab up some gozo and get with the flow.