“What is your favourite vegetable?” “BROCCOLI!!”
That’s the immediate response I always get from my son. The strange thing is he enjoys eating broccoli using his fingers. Maybe it is really a “finger lickin’ good” vegetable!
When I first started to make my own baby food, I read about broccoli is one of the high-nitrate vegetables (besides beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, spinach etc) which should not be fed to babies in large quantities. The naturally occurring nitrates in these vegetables can change to nitrites, which bind iron in the blood and make it difficult to carry oxygen. This can make breathing become difficult and the skin to turn blue. As a health freak mommy, I prefer to boil/ blanch broccoli to remove this potentially harmful nitrates. Since then, it has become a personal preference in my cooking. Besides broccoli, I also boil/ blanch other green leafy vegetables because it is the simplest, easiest, fastest, healthiest and tastiest way as compared to other cooking methods. As long as my family doesn’t file a “complain”, I will try to keep my cooking as simple as possible.
Broccoli (I prefer Australian broccoli)
Oil (I use extra light olive oil)
Salt & sugar (optional – I will skip it if I use Australian broccoli)
Light soya sauce/ oyster sauce (I prefer Lee Kum Kee superior light SS because it is less salty)
Fried shallot oil
Fried shallot (I will do another posting on how to make my "perfect" fried shallot. Stay-tuned!)
1) Cut broccoli into small florets. If the floret is too big, cut into half. Wash thoroughly, rinse and soak for 10-20 mins
2) Bring water to boil in a cooking pot.
3) When the water is boiling, add some oil, salt and sugar. Put the broccoli and let it boil in the pot without lid until fork-tendered.
4) Drain the broccoli with a strainer or colander immediately to avoid the broccoli from turning colour.
5) Toss with fried shallot oil and light soya sauce/oyster sauce. Garnish with fried shallot.
1) To retain the bright hue in broccoli after blanching, you can use "shocking method" - It is done by noobcook in her stir-fry broccoli dish and further illustrated at Allrecipes.
2) I noticed that the water used to cook pasta/ noodles can also produce the same results as step (1). Has anyone tried it before?
This is my entry for Weekend Wokking (secret ingredient for this month: BROCCOLI), hosted by Wiffy of Noobcook. The dealine is 30 Nov but she is still accepting entries until she publishes the round up on 3 Dec. So do hurry and join the fun. For more info and rules, check it out here.