Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Broccoli with Crispy Bread Crumbs and Lemon

Broccoli with Crispy Bread Crumbs and Lemon
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari
Yields 4 servings

The recipe is from Mark Bittman's Book "How to Cook Everything"; he named this recipe "Breaded Sauteed Broccoli", I simply renamed it for my own files.
There are two ways of making this dish ~ with egg so the crumbs adhere better, or without egg... you'll still have the crispy crumbs, but they won't necessarily stick to the veggies, the choice is up to you.

As Mark states in his book:
"Whether the bread crumbs stick to the vegetable is not all that important, because you'll get the crunch no matter where the bread crumbs wind up, but for the prettiest presentation, use the egg."

1 pound broccoli or cauliflower (about 1 medium head), broken into florets of any size, 
All purpose flour for dredging (optional)
2 or 3 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)
1 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh ~ I used coarse Panko (Japanese, air dried bread crumbs)
4 tablespoons butter or olive oil (may need a little more than this amount)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon slices for serving

Parboil vegetable florets in a pot of salted water until just crisp-tender,  remove from boiling water and immediately plunge them into a large bowl filled with ice cubes and water to stop the cooking. Remove and allow to drain. Dab excess water off.
For the version using egg:
Roll each floret in the flour, then dip in the egg, then in the bread crumbs.
For the non-egg version:
Roll the pieces in the bread crumbs, pressing gently so they will adhere.

Place butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When butter melts or oil is hot, add the broccoli or cauliflower a few at a time, don't crowd the pan.  Adjust heat so the bread crumbs brown on all sides without burning, sprinkle with salt and pepper as they cook.

Well all of the florets  are browned and tender (about 8 to 12 minutes, depending upon size, and heat of the pan), remove to a heated platter, taste one and add more salt  & pepper if necessary.  Serve with slices or wedges of lemon to be squeezed over by each diner. 


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