Smashed Spring Broccoli
6-8 broccoli stalks (look for pieces with a decent amount of stem attached if you can)
Wash and trim the stem ends of the broccoli. Using a vegetable peeler or knife remove all of the tough outer skin from the stalks.
Blanch the broccoli in salted water, or cook it in the microwave, stopping when it is tender-crisp.
Toss the broccoli with Ipshahan N1, olive oil, and salt to coat.
Heat a griddle or large cast iron pan over medium heat. When hot, place the broccoli stalks on the hot surface then press them down with something heavy (another cast iron pan, bricks coated in aluminum foil, that bacon press you never use, etc.)
Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook under weight until the other side is browned in spots (6-7 minutes usually). Flip and cook until the other side is the same color. If you like them more on the charred side, go for it!
You can serve them whole or chopped. A great accompaniment is a simple tahini sauce, some greek yogurt, fresh lemon, and chopped mixed spring herbs.
Variations & Ideas
- Try adding a bit of shio koji to the broccoli before cooking. This will add a subtle sweetness and umami and aid browning.
• The salt level is up to you. I find that given the flavor of the spice blend you can get by with adding no salt if you're on a restricted diet.
• You can make this in an oven as well. Simply set it to 375°F and sandwich the broccoli between two hot sheet pans with a few heavy items on top. Check for doneness around 10 minutes, no need to flip.
• If you have overwintered kale that has begun to flower, this preparation works wonderfully for this vegetable. Depending on the skins you may not even need to peel them.
• Towards the end of cooking try adding a large handful of capers, nuts, and chopped lemon (either fresh or preserved) directly to the griddle. Chop everything roughly, then serve over your favorite grain.
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