This morning it was not raining, so I decided to go out in the garden and do a bit of cleaning and thinking. I found several broccoli florets to harvest. I also found my camera (macchina fotografica) sitting on the low wall outside my office, which meant that my camera had spent the night, a highly humid night, outside. The prospect of being left camera-less due to recklessness was rather disturbing, but I decided that, before assessing the digital damage, I would take care of the fresh broccoli. That's also how we call them in Italian: broccoli. However, while in English the name is uncountable, in Italian it is plural, the singular being broccolo.
Vegetable star, super-healthy broccolo (full name: cavolo broccolo) may one day decide to sue the Italian language for slander. In fact, calling someone broccolo is not a compliment. A classic example of broccolo (or, to be correct, broccola, since I am female) is yours truly leaving her camera outside all night, and during a spell of rainy weather to boot. As a consequence, a photographic record of my fresh broccoli does not exist.
Maybe because I recently made an excellent version of puréed cauliflower, compliments of Kalyn, but the idea got stuck in my mind of making purè di broccoli, a dish I had actually neither made nor tasted before. I steamed the florets and stems (about 1 lb) until they were soft. I also sprayed with olive oil a small frying pan, warmed it up and put in it half an onion, chopped. I added some minced fresh sage and cooked until the onion was quite soft, a little over 15 minutes. At the end, I added un pizzico di sale (a pinch of salt) and some freshly-ground black pepper, then placed both onion and broccoli in the food processor and puréed until smooth. I poured the intensely green, healthy purée in a bowl and sprinkled a tablespoon of freshly-grated parmigiano over it.(I got to use my brand new grattugia!)
While the broccoli was steaming, I turned on my camera and it did come alive. I then cleaned the lens and dried out the water that had seeped behind the LCD screen. To my surprise, the camera then seemed to perform as previously, which is the reason why I am able to show you what the finished dish looked like. As an improvisation, my broccoli purée turned out very well, as demonstrated by the fact that there were no leftovers. And in case you are wondering about my camera current whereabouts, rest assured, it is inside the house.
This is my entry for the November edition of Heart of the Matter, a heart-healthy event hosted this month by Michelle of The Accidental Scientist. The topic for this month was Holiday Food. My purè di broccoli is a not a classic holiday dish according to the tradition I come from. Its green color, however, reminded me of a Christmas tree (albero di Natale), with the grated parmigiano filling in for the snow (neve): doesn't this make it into a Holiday Food?
Here is the round-up of HotM #9.
Note: according to the heart-healthy recommendations, a small quantity of cheese is allowed and with all the flavor parmigiano packs, a little goes a long way in terms of flavor.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the purè di broccoli audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]