According to an article by Linda Naeve of the Iowa State University Extension published in May, 2015 for the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC,) she writes that although broccoli is grown in almost every state of the U.S., California is the leader, producing 90% of the countries harvest. Also, amazingly over the past 35 years the consumption of broccoli by the consumer has dramatically increased to 6.7 lbs. in 2014 compared to 1.4 pounds in 1980.
Broccoli is a superfood, giving us over 100% of our daily allowance of Vitamins C and K in only one measured cup and is also a fabulous source of fiber, vitamin A, folate and potassium. Broccoli is very versatile in the kitchen too - you can use it raw in salads and with dips, add it to soups, stews, pies, sauté in stir fry dishes - or as in this recipe, steamed and then tossed together with fresh lemon juice and zest, garlic and finished off with a touch of Pecorino Romano cheese and red pepper flakes if desired.
This recipe is fresh, healthy and bright in flavor and is quick and easy to prepare. This recipe for Steamed Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic is vegetarian and vegan friendly (if you omit the cheese, that is.) I served this as a side with my leftover vegetarian friendly eggplant parmesan (link below,) which paired really well together.
2 lbs. broccoli florets, trimmed (approx.)
1 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Red pepper flakes (optional)
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. butter
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)
1. Using a large pan or wok add the water and broccoli covering with a tight fitting lid. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, steaming the broccoli until crisp tender or to your liking. Drain, set aside and discard any water from the pan.
2. In the same pan, heat the olive oil, lemon juice and red pepper flakes over a medium to low flame for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is golden (not dark brown.) Add the butter and stir. Return the drained broccoli to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce.
3. Place the broccoli on a serving platter or individual dishes and drizzle with any juices left in the pan. Grate the zest from the lemon over the broccoli florets and sprinkle with the Pecorino Romano cheese if using.