The rainy, Middle-Eastern winters bring out the best cabbage-family vegetables. I love to visit the open-air market between showers, choosing snowy cauliflower and dark-green broccoli for a quick vegetarian main dish. Cooked to tender-crispness by the recipe below, these superfoods retain their snap and lively flavor. The vegetables take all of ten minutes to prepare, but cooking them needs all your attention. If you’re planning to serve rice or other dishes as well, have them cooked and ready to serve at the same time.
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli
1 small cauliflower
1 medium-sized bunch of broccoli
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove of garlic
Freshly-ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
Cut away the leaves from the cauliflower (save them for steaming and eating later) and cut the stem off. Break the head up into small florets no bigger than the first joint of your pinkie finger. Do the same with the broccoli. Keep the florets all about the same size, so that they’ll cook evenly. Rinse and drain.
Chop the scallions finely. Chop the garlic finely and mash it with the edge of your knife.
Pour a dollop of olive oil into a large skillet and heat it up for a couple of minutes. Add the cauliflower and broccoli and stir gently to coat them with oil. Keep the flame medium-high. Leave the vegetables alone a minute or so, then lift a few to see if they’re starting to color at the bottom. If not, give it another minute. Sauté another five minutes, stirring gently.
Add the garlic and scallions and stir; cook only another minute. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Remove from the heat. Grind a little pepper over all and stir in the lemon zest.
Serve right away, and enjoy!
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Photo by Miriam Kresh.