Summer vegetables like tomatoes and eggplant are still available, but cool season crops like cauliflower and broccoli are coming on strong. Growing up, my mother always had a garden and we had to eat broccoli (complete with green worms) and cauliflower because it was the season. I call it food trauma, and when I left home it took me many years before I could eat either. Mom would cook either the cauliflower or broccoli until it was soft and mushy and then pour cheese wiz (thinned out with milk) over-top. I could get by the cheese sauce but I just couldn’t get by the hidden pale green cooked worms (free protein). I guess soaking the broccoli in salt water didn’t work or maybe my mom was too rushed! Now I really enjoy eating broccoli and cauliflower because of the way I cook it—hardly at all—always al-dente with exciting sauces or spices.
I still have lots of cherry tomatoes in the garden so I used them and left out the allspice. If you don’t have shallots use onions and add a few extra cloves garlic. If your cauliflower is tender before the sauce is thickened, add a bit of cornstarch (mixed with water) to thicken the sauce, so your cauliflower doesn’t become mushy.
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
6 cups cauliflower florets (1-inch)
4 cups diced tomatoes
1. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and onions and garlic, stirring until the shallots are soft but not brown, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with cilantro, cumin, coriander, salt and allspice and cook, stirring constantly, for 15 seconds. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, cauliflower and tomatoes; gently stir to combine.
2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is crisp tender and the sauce is thickened. Serve.
This is the easiest and quickest way to cook broccoli. The sauce just takes a minute.
2 broccoli heads
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut up the broccoli into 1-inch florets and place in a bowl. Sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper over top of the broccoli and mix with your hands making sure that all of the broccoli is covered lightly in oil. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until crisp tender. Longer if needed.
In the meantime make the sauce. Mince the garlic and add all the rest of the ingredients. If it seems thick add a bit of water or more oil. It tastes better if made ahead.
Remove broccoli from the oven, serve with sauce on the side.