Broccoli, broccoli oh broccoli. You are a vegetable with not much use in my home. For that I am sorry. I am not entirely at fault. I do blame my boyfriend for uttering not so friendly phrases your way, polluting my mind. Making me recall memories of grainy green soup with lumps and water filled overcooked florets to go along with my sausage consistency-like carrots.
Luckily I have since realized you are so much more. You are controllable in texture giving me both a bit of crunch and tenderness. You are cheap and easy to handle. You are versatile. But there is something to you, that makes you far superior to other vegetables – you are a vessel for flavor beyond comparison. Spices and sauces will nestle in your thousands of buds making every bite a little explosion of flavor. And cooked like the recipes below even my ill-word spewing boyfriend kind of accepts you.
As for me – I kind of love you, Broccoli!
SPICY BROCCOLI SOBA NOODLE SALAD
250 g soba noodles
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
Juice of 2 small limes
2 tbsp soy
1 tsp honey
Sriracha to taste
2 tbsp sesame oil
Pinch of chili flakes (hot!)
1 head of broccoli
A 2-3 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp soy
1/3 cup water
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
A small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
A handful of toasted peanuts
- Start by cooking the soba noodles according to the package. When cooked, drain and transfer to a bowl with icy ice water. They can stay here while you make the rest of the salad.
- Next, make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and adjust to taste. Set aside.
- For the broccoli, prep first: cut the broccoli into small florets, grate the garlic and ginger.
- Heat the sesame oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot add the chili flakes (to your liking) and stir fry for about 20 seconds. It should sizzle. Add in the broccoli florets and keeping the heat high, stir occasionally. About 2 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and ginger and stir very quickly. About 10-20 seconds. It will stick to the bottom that’s okay (just don’t let it burn), it will loosen in the next step.
- Add in the soy and water and cook, still on high heat, until almost evaporated. This should take about 2-4 minutes. Check for ‘doneness’ – the broccoli should be tender, but crunchy still. Remove from heat and cool for 5-10 minutes.
- To assemble toss the (now drained) soba noodles with the broccoli, spring onions and coriander. Serve in bowls and spoon over the dressing and top with toasted peanuts.