Friday, 9 August 2013

A side dish

It's been one busy week here in Dublin at Cookbook HQ but it's over. Well, book 1 at least. Yesterday was a 12 hour day and although bloody tiring it definitely cemented that this is what I want to do. If I can do it for 12 hours and not be totally grumpy (maybe I was a little coming down from a sugar high, apologies #dreamteam) then this is right.

Although I loved doing this book, I think I will be heading back, or at least trying, to go the no sugar route. Just the inhaled sugar fumes over the last two weeks, let alone the consumed sugar have put my weight sky rocketing! We celebrated the end by having a Wendy House Party. No cakes though. Just savoury stuff.

And while I have been so busy this week that recipe making has not been on my mind, what I do have for you this week is such a simple yet wonderfully tasty side dish. I love to eat this by itself and often have it as a weekend afternoon snack it's so good. The key is to not overcook the broccoli and lemon zest.

I love sprouting broccoli and when homegrown, nothing beats it. When eaten raw this green goodness contains as much calcium as a glass of whole milk. One of the reasons that you never ever want to over cook it is because the more you cook it the less green it is and the less green it is the less chlorophyll will be left to counteract the sulphur compounds which form gas. So, not just because it turns mushy! The brassica family, to which the broccoli belongs, is well known for it's anticancer and antioxidant properties. They are also pretty good at livening up the liver out of a deep sleep.


however much sprouting broccoli for the people you're feeding ( I go with roughly 5-6 stalks pp)
lemon zest freshly grated
parmesan cheese freshly grated
salt and pepper
good quality olive oil

Cut off any ugly looking ends (the ends without the flowers on) of the broccoli and put a pan of water on to boil. Once boiling a good roll, throw broccoli in with a pinch of salt. Cook for maybe 5 minutes depending on size of broccoli. If unsure, stick a knife in the stem. If can't get knife through  leave a little longer. If there is a slight effort to get knife in take out. If knife goes straight through with no effort, remove very quickly. Drain, arrange on plate. Grate lemon zest, parmesan and sprinkle with flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper with a drizzle of olive oil. Eat immediately!


  1. When I was very young (back in the 40s) my grandmother MacGregor got me to eat this and some of the other dark green goodies by putting melted butter and lemon on it. I was an instant convert, and have never lost my zest for these vegetables. Thanks for posting this. It brought back old, good memories.

  2. How lovely! Grandmothers know best huh George! hehe. Glad it brought back some good memories for you.