I love to cook and I love to eat good food.  Alas, the fact that I work 9-5 means that I can't do either as much as I would like, and like many I am often stuck at my desk during my lunch "hour".  My solution is to try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can.  This is my collection of recipes, all made quickly the night before (either as lunch or as dinner with leftovers that can be taken in).  Happy eating.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Broccoli with peanut sauce two ways

At the last minute, I found this week's Blogger Secret Ingredient on Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog. Being somewhat of a working stiff these days, I don't always discover the BSI in time to ponder, prep and post an appropriate recipe. This week, I found out Sunday morning of the closing date. That meant I had some time to cook and lunch to think about, so I did what any blogger in my position would do: I went out to buy some broccoli.

I know it's not everyone's favorite vegetable, but I love broccoli. I like to think it's because of the emerald green colour, the sweet taste of lightly steamed florets, and some sort of sub-conscious/pyscho-somatic appreciation for the vitamins and anti-oxidants. But really, I think it's because of The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, a favorite cookbook in my house when I was young. What child wouldn't want to think of her vegetable as home to a magical land?

Sadly, said favorite cookbook is still in my parent's house, so I had to use a more recent favorite broccoli recipe. I decided to post two versions because the basic recipe usually gets turned into the second variation (and, well, why not?). Broccoli is the perfect vehicle for strong flavors. When lightly cooked, its inherent sweetness provides balance to garlic and chili. The vegetable is a great side dish and ingredient itself, but is also hearty enough to be the main attraction. Plus, both recipes are dead easy.

So, without further ado, here goes:

Broccoli with peanut dipping sauce

Steamed or blanched broccoli

¼ C. smooth peanut butter
1 T. oil
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. minced ginger
1 T. lime juice
1 tsp. mirin
1 T. soy sauce
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Blend or just mix well. Serve with broccoli.

Broccoli and soba noodles with peanut sauce

I like to eat this dish cold, but it is very tasty warm. I also like to make broccoli the star ingredient, so it's more like a broccoli salad with soba noodles rather than the other way around. Depending on the consistency of the peanut sauce, you may need to thin it slightly with a teaspoon of water (or more soy sauce/lime juice/whatever your taste buds fancy).

Cooked soba noodles
Steamed broccoli florets
1-2 T. peanut sauce (see above) per person
1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan

Mix broccoli and soba with peanut sauce, thinning if necessary. Top with sesame seeds. Eat!

Serves as many as you have broccoli to cook.


Angie's Recipes said...

How innovative! I have never had broccoli with peanut sauce!

Angie's Recipes

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic way to use broccoli. This has to be good. Thanks for sending it in for BSI.

Karena said...

oo that looks good! I might need to pick up some more broccoli and make that for dinner tonight ;)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Found your blog this afternoon...lots of good recipes :)
Funny how your profile says that you dream obsessively about "food and California"...I always dreamed of "food and England'!!
Stop by and pay me a visit soon!

Reeni♥ said...

What a great idea! I love peanut sauce. I bet it's delicious both ways!

green ink said...

YUM!! I love brocolli,but especially with a sauce.

Anonymous said...

broccoli is my fav veggie ever! I love the idea of it fresh with peanut sauce to dip! And the noodle dish sounds so refreshing! Yum~

lisa said...

What a great way to use these ingredients for two meals! The sauce sounds fantastic.

Resh said...

i love your blog, because you are so healthy & creative. I hate broccoli though, i don't like any flowering veggies ie, cauliflower too. Though i ADORE spinach!!! I will make this for my husband tho, who loves broc & peanut sauce. yum yum yum for him!! hehehe

teresa said...

what a fantastic use of broccoli! they both look delicious!

Jackie at PhamFatale.com said...

Neat idea! I just the same sauce for my Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, I can use the leftover peanut dipping sauce for bite-sized veggies as an appetizer.


Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

This looks so good ~ you've convinced me it must be on the menu soon!

Thank you for sharing the recipe, beautiful photos, too.

the ungourmet said...

Both ways look great to me. I love broccoli and I am crazy for peanut sauce!

stephchows said...

mmmmmmm I love peanut sauces :) I make a mean asian slaw using one! yum!

Grace said...

i, too, think broccoli is pretty swell, but i haven't tried it with peanut sauce. it sounds interesting and scrumptious!

Cucinista said...

Angie: thanks!

Chaya: thanks again for hosting.

Karena: hope you enjoyed it. Just found your blog -- thanks for stopping by.

DeliciosoMama: ha! Food in England is pretty good, but better in CA :)

Reeni: agreed!

Green Ink: it's the way to go

B&S: both are so easy too...

Lisa: multi-tasking

Resh: I won't hold it against you! Thanks for the sweet comment, but I feel like I need to make something unhealthy now... I'm sure I can come up with something.

Teresa: thanks, and I enjoyed your latest recipe too.

Jackie: love spring rolls!

Mari: that's especially gratifying coming from you, mistress of beautiful photos.

Ungourmet: it's addictive, I warn you.

Steph: I have a good recipe also. You'll have to share yours!

Grace: scrumptious indeed. Now I just have to get some of your biscuits.

The Duo Dishes said...

Definitely a new pair. Using it as a dip is perfect for an appetizer.

Kelsey B. said...

Mmmm, this looks great, good idea for lunch! I love your blog!

Jamie said...

Oh oh oh I so must make this dish! I love broccoli and this peanut sauce is to-die for! Wow!

EMC said...

My husband adores soba noodles. Can't wait to try!

Kristina said...

There's a recipe I saw in Vegetarian Times fairly recently: Broccoli with Wonderful Peanut Sauce, contributed by Mollie Katzen. I've been dying to try it.

Sweetfern Handmade

Ashley said...

I love any excuse to douse something in peanut sauce! Yum!

Sarah Alaoui said...

you are SO awesome for this recipe! I love broccoli, peanut sauce AND soba noodles. Especially peanut sauce...I always run out, but it's good to know I can make my own!

Sweet and Savory said...

I love peanut butter sauce on almost anything and broccoli is a for sure success.

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