Hey there! Happy New Year! Gott Nytt År! I hope you’re all doing tremendously well. Thanks for standing by while I took a little break – it wasn’t my intention to take one, but such is life. And really, if these views were what were to your immediate left and right, would you want to be in front of a computer?
I had a great holiday. I ate a lot. I drank a lot. I did very little else.
I caught up with family and some old friends, and several people marvelled at the pace with which I’ve maintained my little piece of the internet since starting grad school. Every time someone made a comment along those lines I cringed a little because I knew it had come at a cost. I’ve been debating taking a bit of a step back from the blog, which, please understand, of all the things I routinely do is probably my most favourite. But it takes time away from other things I *should* be doing. Like school work. Or getting to work on time. Or studying Swedish.
Last year my friend Alison and I declared 2012 to be the year of The Muffin Myth, and I’m so happy with how it went. I’m declaring 2013 to be the year of Katie. This is the year my Swedish goes from functional to fluent. The year I figure out a monster of a thesis project and get going on it. The year I get a job where a day in my life doesn’t look like an episode of Real Housewives of somewhere crossed with a scene from Best in Show. So, I need to make some changes. A little less time on Facebook. And Twitter. And Pinterest. And Foodgawker. And…. you get the picture. I’m pretty sure I in fact *can* do it all, I just need to be smart about it. And every once in a while I need to allow myself a little break from this space if I need to catch my breath.
This dish is a lot like catching your breath, especially if you, like me, had a pretty indulgent holiday. It is strikingly simple, fast, seasonal, and incredibly delicious. Broccoli is braised in orange and diced tomatoes spiked with hot pepper flakes and oregano. Once just barely tender it gets finished with a drizzle of good olive oil and some salt and pepper. I’ve made this numerous times since first coming across the recipe, and have eaten it hot, cold, on it’s own, or nestled against a bed of brown rice. You can leave it unadorned, but a sprinkling of chopped almonds, Parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast dresses it up nicely.
Orange Braised Broccoli Recipe:
This recipe calls for one large head of broccoli. The broccoli in Sweden is usually quite small (and, infuriatingly, wrapped in plastic) so I’ve found that two heads does the trick here. Aim for around 500g of broccoli, including florets, stems, and leaves.
Serves 2 as a main, more as a side
500g broccoli, rinsed and broken down into bite sized florets and chunks of stem
1 400g can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp chopped almonds (optional)
2 Tbsp shaved Parmesan or nutritional yeast (optional)
In a medium pot combine diced tomatoes, orange juice, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then add the broccoli. Stir so that the braising liquid coats everything, then cover with a lid and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir and check for tenderness, and if the broccoli isn’t quite tender, cover again and cook for about 3 minutes more. The goal is for the broccoli to be bright green and just barely tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.
Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with additional toppings if you like (I’m quite fond of nutritional yeast sprinkled over top). Serve.
Broccoli is good for you, right? It is a great source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and iron. High broccoli consumption is thought to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease and some cancers.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2013