My grandfather makes this incredible lemon garlic broccoli dish that basically bathes in a pool of olive oil and garlic. When you dig your fork into a broccoli floret, you have to let the broccoli drip-dry for a moment.
I’m not complaining. But my hips don’t lie, and it’s time that I step up to the plate and make a version of his dish that’s more love-handle-friendly. Olive oil is a healthy fat source, but I need a little moderation – especially because it’s easy to polish off a whole bowl of that garlic broccoli!
And in true Inspiralized fashion, I’m turning this comfort food dish into something spiralized – with broccoli noodles!
Yes sir/ma’am, I said broccoli noodles. As in, noodles… made from a broccoli. Gosh, will the fun ever end?
You can spiralize broccoli stems! It’s a little tricky and doesn’t yield perfect spirals, but it’s doable – and the results are still as scrumptious, if not as impressive, as a bowl of zucchini noodles.
In Sunday’s recipe, I showed up with a broccoli and carrot salad, using broccoli noodles, and I got a few “WTF, how?!” e-mails. So, I figured I’d come up with a little tutorial.
The most important part of spiralizing a broccoli is finding a broccoli bunch with wide stems. The stem should be no smaller than 1.5″ inches in diameter and as straight and long as possible. Ideally, the broccoli stem will be in the 1.5-3″ diameter range. To find larger broccoli, try farmer’s markets and organic grocery stores (like Whole Foods.)
Now, let’s get Inspiralized!
First, slice the florets off the stem, trying to leave as much stem fully intact as possible.
Then, cut off the bottom of the broccoli stem so that it is even and flat. Load the stem onto the spiralizer, careful to align it in the center.
Spiralize quickly (the quicker, the better), applying strong pressure towards the blade.
One broccoli stem yields 1 large cup of noodles. As you can see, the noodles won’t be clean spirals. However, when you cook them in the skillet with other yummy ingredients, it doesn’t matter – they transform, absorb flavors and are a beautiful addition to a broccoli dish.
Plus, how cool is it that we use the entire broccoli? Usually you throw away the stems, right?
As for this recipe, it’s very basic but so comforting and flavorful, you’ll be amazed at how good broccoli can taste – especially with the dusting of pecorino romano cheese (the salt is wonderful, adding a deep savoriness that melts into the vegetable.)
You can try adding beans, chicken or steak to this dish to transform it into a full meal – think of it like an Italian-inspired version of a broccoli stir fry.
Regardless, you’ll never look at broccoli the same way again.
Side note: today marks the 1 year mark from when I quit my job to start Inspiralized. This time last year, I was buying the Inspiralized.com domain name and cheers-ing Lu, celebrating my first big step towards my dream!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s sappy post about my 1 year Inspiralized anniversary. I couldn’t be prouder and more excited to recap my first year with you!
Have you tried spiralizing broccoli before? How did it go?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
- 1 large broccoli head with stem
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grated pecorino romano cheese
- Slice off the head of the broccoli, leaving as little stem on the florets as possible. Set aside the broccoli florets. Slice the bottom end off the broccoli stem so that it is evenly flat. Spiralize the broccoli stem, using Blade C.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once the oil heats, add in the broccoli florets, stems, red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, shaking the skillet frequently, letting the broccoli cook.
- While the broccoli is cooking, place your pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Let toast until fragrant and the pine nuts slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the pine nuts – toss occasionally. When done, set aside.
- Add in the garlic and lemon juice and cook for 3-5 more minutes (covered) or until broccoli is tender but more easily pierced with a fork. Transfer the broccoli to a serving bowl and top with pine nuts and pecorino romano cheese.