When I was growing up, every leafy green vegetable was served the same way in our house – steamed and seasoned with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil (and salt of course). I’ll never forget the first time that the Irishman cooked broccoli for me….and then coated it in a cheesy sauce. I looked at him like he was crazy and before I could stop myself, I said, “what the heck did you do to this poor broccoli? It’s drowning!” Shortly thereafter, I took over the cooking duties that did not involve the grill. It was better that way.
So today, I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to make steamed broccoli with lemon and olive oil. It takes less than 10 minutes and it tasted much more refreshing than the drowning in cheese variety (to say nothing of the calories you’ll save).
Let’s start off with a head of broccoli. (I usually use two since I can eat an entire one myself.) You want to look for broccoli than has almost a purple tint to the tips of the “trees.” According to the Food Network, the purple cast is an indication of a higher density of certain vitamins and minerals…or something like that. I generally cut the broccoli heads off at the lowest point where they’re separated. And, the big waster that I am, I generally discard the stem. I’m sure my mother is having a fit about this because she cuts and uses it all up. Sorry mom!
Once the broccoli is in the microwave-safe dish…
I give it a good rinse. I usually rinse it after I cut it because I find it easier to wash in between all of the stems when they’re already separated. With water still clinging to the broccoli, I put a lid on it…
and put it in the microwave. We have a nifty microwave where I just push the “fresh veggie” button and it automatically stops when it’s done, but if you don’t have a similarly gifted microwave (not that there’s anything wrong with the old fashioned kind), I would say that 5-7 minutes should do it.
When it’s done, VERY CAREFULLY take off the lid with hot pads or you’ll end up with a steam burn. Look at that whoosh of steam.
Let it sit for a couple of minutes so that it goes from scalding to pleasantly warm and then add in a very generous drizzle of olive oil. I would say at least 3 Tablespoons would be good.
Now, add the juice of one lemon.
And finally, salt to taste.
Give it a good stir and it’s ready to serve.
As you make this more frequently, you’ll get good at judging exactly how much olive oil and lemon you prefer. We like ours pretty lemony here because the citrus gives the broccoli such a fresh flavor. I probably make broccoli like this three days a week. It’s easy and it’s a great way to get more veggies into your diet. Did I mention that it’s super tasty, too?