An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


The Enchanted Broccoli Forest

About five years ago, I decided to end my stint as a vegetarian, by getting a cheeseburger from Whole Foods.  I had been having dreams about bacon for months, and I'd wake up asking myself why I wasn't eating meat.  So finally, I broke the meat fast.  But during my nine years of no-meat eating, I collected quite a few vegetarian cookbooks, including the Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen. 

During grad school, my three roommates and I would have a huge family dinner every Sunday night, and this dish was featured at one of them.  It is a great way to use up leftover cooked grains (any kind is fine, such as rice, quinoa, barley, etc.) and spices that generally are on the spice rack.   As usual, I have altered it from the original recipe, which you are welcome to do too.  In this particular version today, I added some leftover quinoa, celery and brown rice.

A mix of red and white quinoa.
When preparing the broccoli, you can mince the stalk into small pieces and saute it with the onion and garlic.  This is a great way to use as much of the broccoli as possible, which adds nutrients and fiber to the dish.

The Enchanted Broccoli Forest
Adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook

2 bunches fresh broccoli
1-2 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine (or olive oil or butter)
3/4 cup celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
3/4 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked quinoa
Black pepper to taste
Cayenne to taste
2 tsp dried dill
1 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 cup parmesan cheese
Melted Earth Balance (or butter) to top broccoli

Trim the bottoms of the broccoli and mince the stalk as pictured above.  Cut the tops into long spears so you can place them in the grains like little trees.  Cook them in boiling water or steam for about 20 seconds, until they turn bright green.  Remove, put in strainer, and rinse under cold water, drain and set aside.

Preheat over to 325 degrees.  Grease an oven proof pan.

Melt the butter or olive oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet.  Add the onions, celery, broccoli stalks, pepper and salt.  Saute until onions soften, for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and lemon juice and saute for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the rice and quinoa, pepper, cayenne, herbs and cheese.  Correct flavorings if necessary and spread in the prepared pan.

Arrange the broccoli in the rice, like little trees.  Drizzle with melted Earth Balance or butter.  Cover with foil and bake until heated through (about 15-20 minutes).  Serve immediately!

Arrange the broccoli like little trees

Top with melted margarine or butter and salt and pepper

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