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Thursday, November 24, 2011

broccoli and pepper stir-fry and broccoli, orange and olive salad

This week is "Broccoli Ten Ways in Five Days" where I am trying out all 10 recipe suggestions Real Simple Magazine highlighted for broccoli in their September 2011 issue. Today is day four. You can browse day onetwo and three if you'd like.

Today, I have a main-ish dish, and a salad for you. I can't say that today is going to be our best broccoli day this week, sadly. Neither one of these was horrible, but neither one was super duper, either.

The first is Broccoli and Pepper Stir-Fry. It is actually pretty good. It's just not exciting. I do stir-frys a lot, and this one doesn't stand out. If you are not a stir-fryer, this is a good starter lesson. With just a couple of common vegetables and a fail-proof sauce (from a jar), you really can't go wrong. If you are desperate to get rid of some broccoli, this is a quick and serviceable way to do so. Just don't plan to be blown away.

Broccoli and Pepper Stir-Fry
Cook 1 chopped bell pepper, 1 bunch broccoli (cut into florets, 6 cups), 1 bunch scallions (sliced), and 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger in canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, tossing often, until the broccoli is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup each water and hoisin sauce and cook, tossing, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

 Broccoli, Orange, and Olive Salad
This recipe is probably the one I was least interested in trying. As a matter of fact, if I hadn't had the hair brained idea (and an overabundance of bunches of broccoli), I never would have bothered with it. Somehow, reading the recipe didn't excite me too much. There are more ingredients than some of the others, but somehow they didn't seem like enough. The recipe uses all things that I love (broccoli, olives, oranges), but somehow the combination didn't feel like it was going to be so fabulous. And guess what? It may be that I set myself up to dislike it, but whether it was a self-fulfilling prophecy or not, I didn't love it. The flavors weren't strong enough, so I went back and added a bit more salt and pepper. All that gave me was a case of sneezing. Oy vey. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't... much.

Steam 1 bunch broccoli (cut into florets, 6 cups) until tender, 5 to 7 minutes; rinse with cold water to cool. In a large bowl, toss with 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives (chopped), 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the grated zest and cut-out segments from 1 orange (squeeze in any juice remaining in the membranes); season with salt and pepper.