Usually I serve broccoli steamed, stir-fried, oven roasted or in salads, but the other day I was searching for a different way to prepare it.
I remember having been served it with a crispy bread crumb coating at an Italian restaurant once; I've made it with toasted buttery-herb flavored bread crumbs sprinkled over...
But I wanted the crumbs to actually adhere to the broccoli. Puzzled as to how to accomplish this, I turned to the newest edition of my kitchen 'bible':
Seriously, if you want to know how to prepare almost any food, chances are you can find the recipe in Mark Bittman's completely revised Tenth Anniversary edition of "How to Cook Everything."
The book is substantial both in content and heft; it weighs in at just over 4 1/2 pounds, and includes an astonishing number of recipes (2,000), "simple recipes for great food" according the the dust jacket ~ an accurate claim. Plus variations on many of them, many clear illustrations, all kinds of preparation tips, and essential information for any cook.
And, once again, it didn't let me down in finding the preparation method for this dish, either. The cooking method is simple, and you can use it for cauliflower florets, green beans, and Brussels sprouts as well.
Break the broccoli into any size pieces you like (I included the slender stems because we like them), parboil in salted water until just crisp tender, then immediately plunge them into a container of ice water. Allow to drain... and from there Mark gives two methods to finish with the crispy bread crumbs
One version uses egg (helps the crumbs adhere), it was the method I used, and the other version does not ~ the crumbs will not coat the broccoli as thoroughly but... as Mark states in the book:
"Whether the bread crumbs stick to the vegetable is not all that important, because you'll get the crunch no matter where the bread crumbs wind up, but for the prettiest presentation, use the egg."
The lemon to squeeze over is suggested as optional ~ but I would not serve this without it... it needs that flavor kick, imo.
As mentioned, Mark offers variations on many of the recipes for example ~ after making the basic recipe of "Breaded Sauteed Broccoli" he give directions for the following:
Cauliflower with Onion and Olives
With Garlic, Vinegar and Capers
With Feta and Mint
With Almonds, Raisins, and Saffron
It is not a fluffy picture-book-type cookbook, but one that is loaded with great, simple recipes and information useful to anyone who cooks. Selling for about $21. it is a great investments and wonderful reference resource; I recommend it for both beginner well as advanced cooks.
If you would like a printable copy of the basic recipe, you can find it on the Once Upon a Plate recipe blog, HERE.
If you try this one I hope you like it. Cheers!