A couple months ago, I was at a friend’s birthday party with beautiful slow-cooked vegetables and beautiful people. The birthday girl, Carolynn, is an amazing cook and has a way with vegetables. Among the many platters of gorgeous produce offerings procured from Chino Farm was an INSANELY good dish of long-cooked broccoli. I’d never had anything like it—sweet, earthy, nutty and decadent all at the same time. It’s a dish Carolynn learned from Nancy Silverton, who features the method in a recipe for Soft-Scrambled Eggs, Long-Cooked Broccoli, and Feta Cheese in her eponymous sandwich book.
Last night, I decided to try it out with two heads of broccoli. I figured with that kind of time commitment, we should get at least a couple meals out of it. All in all, it takes about 2 hours to stew the broccoli with onions and garlic. Once it was finished, we grilled up some heritage pork chops and enjoyed with half of the long-cooked broccoli.
Then this morning we walked over to Larchmont Farmers Market to get some whole grain bread from La Boulangerie, and some farm-fresh eggs and chives to make the best breakfast sandwich I’ve tasted. EVER.
For the sandwich, we grilled two pieces of bread doused with olive oil in a panini press, soft scrambled 6 eggs, and then assembled with broccoli, topped with scrambled eggs, topped with crumbled feta, chopped chives and cracked black pepper. We had plenty of leftover broccoli for three sandwiches (Mr. Foodinista polished off a second). We are already planning our next rendezvous with the long-cooked broccoli.
Adapted from Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book
2 heads broccoli
1/4 cup, plus 2 teaspoons, kosher salt, divided
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole dried red chile
Cut the head of broccoli off the stalk, leaving about 1 inch of the stalk still attached. Slice outer layer of fibrous peel off main stalk, and cut it vertically into long, flat slices, about 1/4-inch thick and 1-inch wide. Slice all the way through broccoli florets, cutting it vertically into 1-inch-thick pieces. You should have a bunch of long pieces of broccoli.
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water and 1/4 cup salt to boil. Cook all of cut-up broccoli in water for 2 minutes, until broccoli turns bright green. Drain broccoli and place in large bowl of ice water to chill. Drain well, and pat dry with kitchen towel.
In a large, heavy skillet, combine broccoli, onion, garlic, chile, olive oil and 2 teaspoons salt. (We didn’t have any large dried chiles on hand, so I threw in a couple of chiles de arbol instead.) Over very low heat, cook broccoli, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it’s very soft and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.