Broccoli Melts

broccoli-melt
I admit it, I’ve done it again– shamelessly lifted a new favorite recipe from Deb at Smitten Kitchen. And I’m not even sorry, because this is such a delicious way to get my vegetables that I’ve been eating it all week. I double the recipe to be sure I have enough to last!

What is this new favorite, you ask? Broccoli melts. Garlicky, spicy, cheesy broccoli, piled on top of toasted bread, generously accented with lemon, and covered in a gooey blanket of bubbly cheese. It makes a hearty breakfast, a fantastic lunch, and (with a glass of white wine) a perfect dinner.

So, without further ado…

Broccoli Melts (from Smitten Kitchen)

1 pound broccoli (if you can get just the crowns, all the better)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
A few pinches red pepper flakes, to taste
Finely grated zest, then juice, of 1/2 lemon (do the zesting first!)
Coarse salt, to taste
1/2 cup finely grated aged pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
8 thin slices provolone
8 slices bread of your choice

1. Cut the broccoli into large florets/chunks.

2. Pour about an inch of salted water into a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Add broccoli, cover, and boil/steam for approximately 2 minutes. Drain well and chop into 1/2″ chunks.

3. Wipe saute pan dry and add olive oil. Let it heat for a minute, then add garlic and pepper flakes and cook until the garlic turns golden. Add broccoli and cook for 1-2 more minutes, seasoning with salt.

4. Turn off the heat and add lemon zest, juice, and grated cheese.

broccoli-melt-saute

5. Heat broiler. Arrange slices of bread on a tray and lightly toast on both sides. Scoop broccoli mixture onto each slice of bread, lay a slice of provolone over it and run under the broiler until cheese has melted and begun to blister. Serve immediately.

broccoli-melt-cheese

 Notes:

  1. The original recipe calls for you to blot the chopped broccoli dry on paper towels, but I didn’t bother. A minute or two in the hot pan dries it out just fine.
  2. Similarly, the original recipe involves freshly grated pecorino, but I find that the pre-grated parmesan in the green can works well– perhaps not quite as well, but still tasty. Don’t skimp on fresh lemon juice, though– the stuff in the bottle isn’t the same at all.
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