Broccoli and Pasta Recipe using Homegrown Broccoli

 

I had picked up a 6 pack of broccoli plants at Lowes when I was picking up the soil for my garden in April. To my surprise I have 6 very healthy plants that have given my kids a reason to eat their green veggies. Today, I went to the farmers market with my kids and saw local farmers also have the fresh broccoli available.

 
If you ever decide to grow broccoli, it is considered a cold weather vegetable, which means in Virginia, my life expectancy of my crop is pretty short right now. I will try to grow more starting in September. I was relying on the garden tag the plants had with them for harvest information.
 
The tag said the heads reach 8 inches. So every couple of days the kids and I would measure the head, just using my finger as a guide. It was getting larger and larger, 6 inches but not a tight bunch anymore.
 
So I decided to research harvest information. This may be useful when purchasing from a farmers market or even a grocery store. You want your heads to be closed tight together, don’t rely on the size. Once they start spreading apart, they will start getting bitter. You do not want any yellow flowers either.
 

In my experience and surprise, each broccoli plant had one big head growing at first and once I cut that off first heads, several small ones have since emerged.
 
Find a local farmers market in your area and enjoy the bounty close to home.
 
 
Have you ever bought the big bag of broccoli from Costco or Sam’s Club and find yourself not eating it as fast as you would like. Just blanche the broccoli that you are not eating in salted water for a few minutes. Cool in an ice bathe and place in a freezer bag. It will be just like the broccoli you get in the freezer section..
 
I am including two of my favorite uses of broccoli. One my kids will always eat, the second the adults really enjoyed.
 

Grandma and Mom’s Broccoli and Pasta

Ingredients

1 Bunch of Fresh Broccoli

1 Large Onion Sliced

5-6 Cloves of Garlic- Chopped

1 Cup of Olive Oil

Grated Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 lb. of Pasta-linguine, rigatoni, ziti etc

 

 

Preparation

Clean and cut broccoli in small flowerettes and stems. (Cut and discard the big thick lower stems)

Peel off the outer skin from the upper thick stems and slice stems bite-size. Discard the skins.

Cook broccoli in about ½ cup of water in the microwave, usually 4-6 minutes. stir half way through. Leave a little crispy because it cooks again.

While the broccoli is cooking, sauté the onion in Olive Oil until slightly softened, and then add the garlic. Saute another minute or two. Also Cook pasta until al dente.

Add the broccoli and liquid to the cooked ionion and garlic. Cook together until broccoli is slightly crisp or tender. Add salt and peper to taste. You could cover it an let it steam if it needs more cookin or just to keep it warm

Drain pasta and mix it with broccoli mixture. Add cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve warm.

 

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli-Ina Garten

 

4 to 5 pounds broccoli

 

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

 

Good olive oil

 

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

 

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

 

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)

 

Directions

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

 

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

 

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

 

Recipe can be easily halved

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