By Erin Walgamuth
Did you grow up hearing your parents say, “Eat your vegetables?” Well I did. I had quite a few tricks for making the vegetables that I didn’t care for disappear off my plate - and I don’t mean because I ate them! There was the always reliable “stuff the vegetables into the napkin” trick. There was the “feed the vegetables to the dog” trick. If I was feeling particularly brave, there was the “put the vegetables into the glass of milk” trick, which was stealthily employed only if my sister and I were clearing the table (I hope my children don’t read this!). Well, I am happy to say that, as I got older, vegetables actually started to taste good. It’s like that old saying, “Good things come to those that wait”. I also found that the cooking method made all the difference in the world. If my parent’s had not cooked the broccoli and green beans (my arch enemies!) until they were a sickly grayish color maybe I would have eaten them! Who knows?
Well, I am happy to say that you will only find lipstick on my table napkin nowadays as there are very few vegetables I don’t care for.
This side dish is a family favorite and yes, my children like broccoli! Hope you and your family enjoy it too.
Broccoli with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time is about 20 minutes
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large heads of broccoli, weighing approximately 19oz
1 cup chicken broth
3 pinches of sea salt or to taste
2 pinches of red pepper flakes or to taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an 11-12” sauté pan. Peel garlic and cut off stem. Thinly slice garlic and add to the sauté pan. Wash broccoli. Cut florets from stem so they are about 2 inches long. Slice florets into quarter’s length wise if the floret is large enough, if not cut into thirds or halves. You just want the size to be as consistent as possible so they will cook evenly.
Heat olive oil on medium-low and cook garlic, stirring often for about one minute. Add broccoli and stir to incorporate. Sprinkle with 2 pinches of salt, stir to incorporate. Add the chicken broth, stir to incorporate. Turn heat to between low and medium-low and cover with lid. Cook broccoli for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender. There will still be some liquid. Remove from heat. Add another pinch of salt or to taste, Add red pepper flakes. Toss well. Use a slotted spoon to serve. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.
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