Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Barenaked Broccoli with Cheese


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My mom served me broccoli when I was a kid and I became familiar with the music of the Barenaked Ladies when I was in university. I’ve recently introduced my kids to both broccoli and the music of this lively Canadian band at the same time. The band’s songs have been an instant hit with my kids. I wish I could say the same about the broccoli. This got me thinking...is it possible to get my kids as excited about broccoli as they are about Barenaked Ladies’ songs. A tough task, but then again anything is possible.

The first step was to get myself into a Barenaked Ladies frame of mind before I started cooking. I did this by listening to their Gordon CD. I wanted to re-discover what made their music so appealing and then try to apply the same attributes to the broccoli.


What I discovered from great songs such as Brian Wilson and Blame It On Me (my favorite) is they begin with a basic melody and then smart, witty lyrics and complimenting harmonies are added in to make the songs so enjoyable. To translate this to broccoli, it meant I had to brighten it up with complimenting flavors. I referred to a broccoli recipe from Kay Spicers’ cookbook called Multicultural Cooking where you steam the broccoli with garlic and lemon zest. This method keeps the broccoli flavor intact but adds a bright lemon harmony and a hint of garlic to the green veggie. I wasn’t sure if this cooking method alone would be enough to win the kids over so I sprinkled the broccoli with Marble cheese and let it melt on top. I figured I couldn’t go wrong by adding gooeyness!


This dish was a success as they were willing to give this new twist on broccoli a try. It's hard to say if they enjoyed it as much as a Barenaked Ladies' tune but they did eat it all, which is a good sign. If you attempt to convert someone you know into a broccoli lover, give this recipe a try. If it fails to convince, then you can blame it on me.

Barenaked Broccoli with Cheese

Instruments

1 broccoli bunch, florets cut into bite size pieces
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Marble cheese

Lyrics
In a steamer basket, evenly arrange broccoli florets. Sprinkle with lemon zest and garlic. Set steamer basket over a large saucepan of boiling water. Cover and steam broccoli just until tender, about 8 minutes. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with Marble cheese.

Volume: Makes 4 servings

Hip Cooking Tip: If you want to add broccoli stems to this recipe, peel them with a vegetable peeler and cut into 2-inch long matchsticks. Cook-On!

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Brent Garell
The Kitchen Roadie
brent@cookapalooza.com

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