I I have two children: a three-year-old who hates broccoli and doesn’t want to eat it, and a six-year-old who tells me that broccoli is his favorite vegetable, but still doesn’t eat it. They should eat broccoli, because broccoli is great. It’s a one-stop shop for fiber, protein, iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. We should all eat more broccoli, even if, like my kids, we don’t. I do not want. Here are 10 recipes that are sure to appeal to even those who insist it’s not for them.
If you’ve only found broccoli in its wet, sticky, boiled form, let’s change your life by roasting it. Just popping the broccoli in the oven for 20 minutes with a little olive oil and sesame, like Alex Bluett does, will automatically lift it to new heights. I estimate that 70% of broccoli haters will change their minds after roasting it. The rest of you, however, will need a little extra work.
Spicy stir fry broccoli with Sichuan peppercorns
Alternatively, you can stir-fry it. My personal preference is to follow this recipe from WGBH and pouring a load of Sichuan peppercorns all over the place, which will not only completely transform the taste, but also make your mouth so numb that it looks like you’re not even eating anything.
Orecchiette with broccoli and arugula
The problem with Sichuan peppercorns, of course, is that they are too hot for a three-year-old. Perhaps pasta is a safer bet. Yotam Ottolenghi’s Orecchiette with Broccoli and Arugula is a clever work of ingenuity because the broccoli, initially fried with garlic and anchovy, breaks down almost to the point of invisibility when cooked.
Pea, broccoli and mint soup
Everyone knows that broccoli and stilton make a classic soup, but I’m much more inclined to make Green Kitchen’s Pea Broccoli Mint Soup. Not only is it so much fresher than a cheese soup, but the peas and mint are so strong you’ll hardly notice half of it is broccoli.
Grilled Cheese Roasted Broccoli Toast
If you have kids this can be a pretty high risk, but Bluett also puts roasted broccoli on cheese toast, which is great because everyone knows that it is absolutely possible to drown broccoli in melted cheese. There is a chance that a person who hates broccoli will take a bite out, instantly identify the broccoli, and reject the entire sandwich. But it is unlikely.
If you’re cooking for someone who’s guaranteed to swoon at the slightest detectable sight of broccoli, it’s time to start hiding it among things. Sarah Trotter and Romi Ash have a recipe for broccoli pesto that might be a good place to start. Broccoli replaces basil in this pesto made with garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and Parmesan. Make it in minutes, stir it into the pasta and no one will notice.
Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce
If that’s too green and therefore can arouse suspicion in a three-year-old who is clearly preparing for a tantrum, strain his broccoli into a tomato-based sauce instead. If you have children you will already know how to camouflage vegetables in sauce, but Shivani Loves Food has a good basic scheme. Grill a load of veggies, including broccoli; Pop some bell peppers and eggplants in there too if you’d like, then toss in some cherry tomatoes and basil. Serve, again, with pasta.
Macaroni and cheese with hidden broccoli
Still don’t have enough pasta recipes? Good, because Streaming Gourmet has a way of hide broccoli (and cauliflower) in a mac and cheese. There’s a bit more to it than this, but mix up the veggies, hide them in the roux, and pray your kids are too hungry to notice the little green flecks.
Never forget the smoothie. Pack enough other big and bold flavors and you can get people to drink broccoli without even realizing it. Always use butter has a recipe in which the broccoli is dominated by pineapple and ginger. It also contains carrots and spinach, because clearly whoever wrote this recipe is drunk on plant-based energy.
Chocolate muffins with broccoli
If all else has failed and you’ve hidden the broccoli in so many dishes that your kids will never trust you again, it’s time to admit defeat and give them a chocolate muffin. Except wait, these are the ones from Archana’s Kitchen broccoli chocolate muffins, made by slicing a cup of broccoli as finely as possible and adding it to a basic chocolate cake mix. Look at them, unknowingly ingesting all those nutrients.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism