I was so hopeful.

From the moment I saw this beautiful broccoli at the Simmons Farm table at last Saturday’s farmers’ market, I knew what I wanted to do with it. I had a lump of green garlic and anchovy-laden butter left in the fridge from a previous dinner, and Maria‘s winning food52 broccoli recipe echoing in my brain – I had hoped to do a spin on her dish, tossed with a bit of pasta to give it enough heft for a main course.

before I ruined dinner

I scattered my beautiful florets on a baking sheet, gave them a drizzle of oil and a scattering of salt and pepper, warmed my butter and olive oil with a bit more anchovy and green garlic plus a hit of red chile flakes, I carefully toasted some slivered almonds while my pasta perked away in a pot. And then…


The smoke detector went off. Mike ran upstairs to disengage it while the cats scattered and hid, and I stood at the counter crying over my blackened, bitter broccoli. I lost track of time and forgot to check it at 20 minutes, and in the blink of an eye, dinner was ruined – inedible.

After more cursing and many tears, we ordered pizza. Not my finest hour.

Dinner: May 17, 2010

Maria, I promise you I will try your recipe again, and next time I’ll watch the broccoli like a hawk.

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