Fresh Broccoli Deluxe – 4 servings
- 1 pound fresh broccoli
- Boiling salted water
- ½ cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (see note)
- ½ cup thinly sliced or coarsely chopped green onion (include some green tops)
- ½ cup coarsely snipped sun-dried tomatoes or drained sun-dried tomatoes soaked in extra virgin olive oil, or 1/4 to 1/3 cup drained chopped pimento
- Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
Clean broccoli; remove the outer leaves and tough part of stalks. Cut stalks lengthwise into uniform spears. Cook broccoli spears, uncovered, in 1-inch of boiling salted water over moderate to high heat until crisp tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. For cut-up broccoli, cut off the buds and set aside. Cut remaining spears into 1-inch pieces; cook spear pieces in 1-inch boiling salted water as previously directed for 5 to 7 minutes; add reserved broccoli buds and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer. Do not overcook. Drain well.
While broccoli is cooking, prepare crumb and green onion mixtures. In a small bowl, combine ½ cup crumbs and Parmesan cheese with 1 tablespoon olive oil, mixing well; set aside. In a small heavy saucepan, sauté green onion in 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil over moderate heat until just tender but not browned. Stir in sun-dried tomato pieces or pimento. Layer broccoli and onion mixture in a heat-proof/oven-proof serving dish or individual heat-proof/oven-proof vegetable dishes or ramekins lightly coated with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray, dividing evenly. Evenly sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired and then crumb mixture. Transfer to a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) and bake, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until crumb mixture is lightly browned. Or, place vegetable dish(es) 4 to 6 inches from broiler heat source and broil 2 to 3 minutes until crumb topping is lightly browned. Serve immediately.
Note: May use Italian-style or reduced-fat Italian-style salad dressing in place of olive oil, if desired. Or, may use olive oil from sun-dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil, if desired.
Variation: Add ½ cup thinly sliced water chestnuts to broccoli before adding crumb mixture.