As someone dedicated to our local CSA and farmer’s markets, I should be a fanatic about vegetables. I am, in theory. Produce is interesting, pretty, healthy, and I love how what’s in the markets changes with the seasons. But in practice, I don’t like vegetables very much. I never have. I work hard to find ways to like them – roasting has been a welcome change from the steamed vegetables I was ate as a kid (I was required to have at least a few bites of every vegetable).
There are a few vegetables that have been particularly challenging for me. I finally gave up on asparagus – I just don’t like it, no matter how it’s prepared. Carrots are iffy, and so is broccoli. I can usually manage to eat broccoli if it’s roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. It has to be piping hot – I won’t eat lukewarm or cold broccoli. I don’t like the tops at all, but roasting cooks them down enough that they’re edible.
When I can, I’ll swap out the broccoli that’s been in our CSA share every week for the past couple of months. But lately there hasn’t been anything to swap with – and now we’re getting both regular broccoli and broccoli rabe. It’s winning. I finally had to cook it. I used both in this dish, and it worked fine – I just cut the regular broccoli into smallish pieces so it would cook at the same rate as the broccoli rabe.
This was a nice pairing to one of our favorite dishes, Black Pepper Tempeh. There are similar flavors – shallots and garlic – but sesame oil and a bit of rice vinegar differentiates it. I tasted the broccoli before and after adding the vinegar, and it makes all the difference in the world. I ate a decent helping of the broccoli (before I even touched the tempeh – no chance to cool off!) and would make this again. The recipe is posted at The Kitchn.