You’ve got broccoli on the menu tonight and you’re just kinda bored with your usual way of making it. Maybe you boil it, maybe you steam it, maybe you roast it… but it all comes out just kinda blah. Well this is what you’re doing instead of blah tonight. This
is your ticket out of Broccoli Blah-dom.
This recipe was inspired (years and years ago) by a cold side dish I would get on the Whole Foods buffet when I lived out in LA. It was delicious, but very, very greasy…there was a lot of oil in that dish, and I always felt kinda gross after eating it. So I set out to recreate it at home without all the grease. And I did! It’s very light and healthy, but very, very flavorful. I love the whole, softened garlic cloves in it- it’s really a wonderful addition. And the sesame and orange flavors blend so well together. I couldn’t get my 3 year old to stop eating it! -(red pepper flakes and all)
And here’s how you make it-
Cut 2 lbs of broccoli (4 crowns) into florets, soak in cold water and drain, repeat 3x. I do this in my sink and bring my skillet over for easy transfer…I even chop the broccoli over the sink during the soak- no clean-up!
Transfer to a large skillet with a lid.
Add the peeled cloves of one head of garlic, and several long strands of orange zest. (I use my cocktail ‘twist-maker’, but if you need to use a micro-plane and zest it finely because that’s all you have, that’s fine- just zest less than half of the orange so it doesn’t become bitter and overpower the dish.)
Season well with kosher salt, add about 1/2 an inch of water. Cover pot with lid. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, covered.
Remove the broccoli using a strainer, leaving the garlic cloves (and orange zest if possible) in the pan to cook some more. Transfer broccoli to a large bowl. Cover pot again and boil for another 5 minutes until the garlic softens.
Transfer the garlic and any orange bits to the broccoli bowl. Toss.
Drizzle in 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, toss.
Sprinkle in a good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
Add 1 TB sesame seeds, toasted.
Stir well to combine, taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve chilled or room temperature.