I know that this is the time of year that everyone is making those deliciously gooey, sweet decadent treats that we only get once a year, so I thought I would share something that is a little bit on the healthy side.
A few years ago, the Fly Rod Gawd's doctor put him on a diet and it was up to me to figure out ways to get him to eat healthier foods. We all now that if I'd let him he would have chocolate cake for breakfast, pound cake for lunch and cookies for dinner, so my challenge was to get him to "like" green things. Thankfully he was a willing participant and would cheerfully try anything, so my job was a bit easier. But still, getting someone to actually like fruits and vegetables that weren't soaked in sugar or fat wasn't easy.
One day I was watching Lydia's Italian Kitchen and she was making crumb coated vegetables as a side dish and they looked really quick and easy. (I'm all about quick and easy!) I don't remember her exact recipe but this is my interpretation of the recipe I saw her making.
Well, it was a big hit! Not long after I began making his broccoli this way we had to go out of town on business. To my surprise, after eating every meal in a restaurant for a week, The Fly Rod Gawd actually said: "I can't wait to get home, I'm craving broccoli!" I almost fell off my chair.
Since then, I've tried this technique on every vegetable I could think of and it has worked on every thing I have tried. My favorites are broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms and now I make them to put out as snacks or appetizers with a honey mustard dipping sauce.
Crispy Crumb Coated Broccoli
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more if you like it hot)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 (10 ounce) box frozen broccoli florets, thawed and patted dry
1/3 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
Heat the olive oil in a large non stick pan over medium high heat. Add the red pepper and garlic. Swirl the pepper and garlic in the oil until you begin to smell the garlic, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli florets and saute until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the Italian bread crumbs. Toss to evenly coat all of the florets and continue cooking until the crumbs are golden brown.
Remove from the pan and serve as a side dish or arrange on a platter with honey mustard dipping sauce for a hot appetizer.