All weekend, a big block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese was calling my name from inside of the fridge. In an effort to fight the urge to chop it up and eat it all, I had to get out of the apartment. Where to go? Most girls would probably take this opportunity to go window-shopping on Fifth Avenue, replenish their lip gloss collections or find the perfect little-black-dress at a cute boutique. Me? Nuh-uh. I head to a grocery store that I haven’t been to in a while or a farmer’s market. Since the latter wasn’t open, I headed to an over-priced-but-well-worth-it grocery store in Jersey City. That’s my kind of boutique.
What did I pick up? Broccolini! Broccolini is a combination between Chinese broccoli and regular broccoli. Actually, I like it better than broccoli, because it’s less bitter, a bit sweeter, and has a more robust taste. But what to do about the cheese?
Back to the apartment. Back to the fridge. Looking inside, I ask “Who goes well with broccolini and Parmigiano-Reggiano? Please come forward.” OK, I promise I don’t talk to my food. Truth be told, I had been meaning to make breadcrumbs, as I was saving some almost-stale bread for the occasion. Perfect – Gremolata breadcrumbs! Gremolata breadcrumbs are a jazzed-up, Italian version of the normal ones: lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, finely chopped parsley, and the crumbs – all toasted with olive oil.
Throw in the chickpeas for some lean protein and then more cheese with the zucchini noodles, and you’ve got yourself an easy Meatless Monday and a healthy way to start your week!
That was my honest thought process. And it resulted in one of the quickest but most mouth-watering dishes that I’ve created. *Pats herself on the head*… okay, I just referred to myself in the third person. Time to wrap up…
In the end, I think I made the right move by running away from stuffing my face with chunks of cheese. It worked much better this way…. more subtle. And that broccolini… like, totally cute purchase, right? Ha!