Spring is in the air! Big time! Finally we've experienced some temperatures over 15 C, sun is shining and... I got sunburn! Which in Ireland is almost unbelievable! ;) As the warmer weather settles for good, I'm sure I'm not the only person who slowly switches from hearty stews, comfort food, big pieces of tender meat with lots of gravy to something lighter. More fresh vegetables are appearing on our plates, dishes are becoming lighter and smaller in size too (I think every woman has it now, at the back of her mind, that sight of that skimpy bikini or those shorts that are lurking in the wardrobe :P ).
I'm a huge fan of broccoli! I can' say I prefer it than cauliflower, as I think both are different, both equally good and both equally versatile. In the past I used to do more, experiment more with the cauliflower, leaving the broccoli left aside. This dish, which originally (recipe from "Veg everyday" cookbook by Rover Cottage) is "just" a broccoli salad with an Asian dressing, after addition of pasta became very filling lunch. There's a night kick to it (coming from ginger) bu nothing overpowering. Pasta (especially rotini shape) "catches" the dressing brilliantly! Hope you'll try it! I already ate it few times within last 2 weeks.
How to make it...
- 1 large broccoli (about 500 g), cut into small florets
- 1/2 a garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- a pinch of sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 2-3 green shallots, finely sliced
Steam or boil the broccoli florets until tender but still crunchy (4-5 minutes).
Meanwhile, crush the garlic and ginger with the sugar and some salt and pepper, to make a paste.
Combine the paste with the vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil.
When the broccoli is cooked, drain and leave for a few minutes to allow the moisture to steam off. While still hot, toss with the dressing and place in a serving dish. Allow to cool.
Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant (this happens very quickly).
When the broccoli is cool, scatter with the spring onions and sesame seeds to serve.
I mixed the salad with cooked pasta - which created a great lunch!
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