Six O’Clock Solution: Lemon and almonds juice up broccoli

This is one of nine recipes for well-seasoned broccoli in Christopher Kimball’s cookbook Milk Street Vegetables.

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Vegetables have been acquiring a new place in the sun in cookbooks. Chefs and home cooks alike are turning out collections of vegetable recipes, and not just for vegetarians. Milk Street Vegetables (Little, Brown/Hachette), from prolific cookbook writer Christopher Kimball of Boston, is a blockbuster worth the $50 price. It endorses “the new home cooking,” which to Kimball means simple techniques and plenty of seasonings.

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The book is packed with stories and tips from Kimball’s travels far and wide. “The rest of the world is way ahead of us in taking vegetables to heart,” he writes. He recommends we stop eating so much meat, and instead consider meat more of a flavoring on a generous plate of vegetables. Broccoli is a favorite and merits nine recipes — welcome at this time of year when good broccoli is regularly available, whatever the weather.

Lemon and almonds star in today’s recipe. Other broccoli seasoning ideas in the book’s recipes include soy sauce and peanuts, Parmesan cheese and pistachios, dates and almonds, fish sauce and chilies, and dried apricots with oranges and a cider vinaigrette.

Broccoli With Lemon

serves 6

1 1/2 pounds (750 g / about 6 cups) broccoli florets (1 large bunch)

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1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil

4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons (30 mL) grated lemon zest (peel)

3 tablespoons (45 mL) lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) smoked paprika

1/2 cup (125 mL) almonds, chopped (smoked almonds are recommended and add to the flavour, but are less widely available)

Kosher or coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh mint leaves

Trim stems from florets, peel and cut in 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) pieces. Cut florets in 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Place in an even layer in a steamer basket.

In a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat, heat oil and garlic, stirring, until the garlic is golden brown, one to two minutes. Scrape mixture into a large bowl.

Whisk in the lemon zest and juice, the smoked paprika, almonds and 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) each salt and pepper. Set aside.

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