A passion for food + fashion

Long-Cooked Broccoli

In Food, Recipes on April 19, 2009 at 11:11 am


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.


  1. I seem to have missed it: where does all of that olive oil go in this process?

    Loved the currant/pine-nut relish, by the way. It seemed to be a hit at last month’s Poker Night, of all places …

    • yowza – i forgot to add – just fixed. thanks for catching! it goes in the skillet with the onions, broccoli & garlic. the currant/pine nut relish is another of nancy’s recipes! i’m sure she would be proud to know that it was spicing up a poker night!

  2. I am going to make this week for Dan – perhaps he will allow this green vegetable at the table

    • the great thing is that you really only need to stir it every 10-15 mins or so….so it’s doable with the wee ones running around. you just have to be in the house for two hours to occasionally stir. and there’s enough olive oil involved so that it will be boy-approved at table….

  3. […] My friend and colleague the Foodinista recently raved about Nancy Silverton’s slow cooked broccoli recipe, admitting it wooed even her, a broccoli agnostic. She posted about it on her excellent blog The Foodinista. […]

  4. This is one of my favorite recipes, even my 3 kids love it. Although they never associate broccoli sandwiches with something good when they see what it is they’re always like “OH, this is really good!”

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