Forever Now

two heads...

The problem with a move like the one we just had is that, in using all your resources to get to where you need to be, things can be a little tight once you get there. Luckily, I’ve become quite adept over the years at what we call “rocking the poverty dinners”, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing while we wait for things to shake out and settle into our new normal.

Hello, Union Square Greenmarket.

I decided to take a week off before starting my new/old job, both because I needed it after the craziness of the last few weeks, and because I wanted to be around to help our little guy get adjusted to this big new place he’s living in. This move, after all, was in large part so we can spend more time as a family, and one thing Mike and I were both looking forward to was introducing J to some of our favorite stops on our old “food safari” route. So we took a train into the city on Wednesday and did just that, taking on Union Square Greenmarket with a $20 budget, looking to supplement the few pantry items we had moved with us to our new home, with some good fresh produce.

broccoli cooked (almost) forever, with farro spaghetti

I’ve had my eye on Roy Finamore’s recipe for “Broccoli Cooked Forever” for months now, and this week I finally got the chance to try it out. With Greenmarket broccoli and fresh young garlic, plus good meaty anchovies and plenty of fruity olive oil, this dish was a big hit with even the littlest member of our family. Mike and I ate ours tossed with farro spaghetti, but Julian had his straight up, dusted with a little bit of grated pecorino. We’ll be making this again for sure.

Done Right

I had to try again.


After making such a terrible mess of Maria‘s Roasted Bagna Cauda Broccoli on my first attempt, I just had to try again.


This time around, I gave my young, tender broccoli florets 10 minutes in the oven, and they were perfect, stems bright green and purply florets just browned and crisp.

Dinner: May 24, 2010

I tossed them with some hot cooked pasta twirls, drizzled the glorious bagna cauda over the top, tossed everything well with a splash of the starchy pasta water, then added the toasted almonds and parmesan. A little sprinkling of red chile flakes for heat was a nice addition to the mix.

a perfect bite


Burned Out

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.

Off Night

I was so hopeful.

With Mike away in NYC, I was really looking forward to indulging in some of the things he isn’t really crazy about. Like broccoli – a vegetable that has always been near the top of my list, but one he has yet to truly embrace. So while my husband was getting his pork on with some cocktail buddies, I decided to whip up a simple pasta dish for myself.

And it kind of sucked.

Dinner:  November 2, 2009

Despite the inclusion of red chile flakes, lemon zest, and crispy anchovy breadcrumbs, this tasted like a whole lot of nothing. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t disappointed – I feel like that gorgeous broccoli was wasted here, and I couldn’t for the life of me think of how to save it.

Use it or lose it

Dinner:  January 29, 2008

I wasn’t in the mood for the dinner I had planned for Tuesday night, so once again I decided to switch things up. The thought of wrestling with a Kabocha squash with achy hands was pretty unappealing, and besides, I had the better part of a bunch of broccoli in the crisper drawer that was starting to look less than perky. What I really wanted was soup, and this easy, cheesy version was a big hit.

I started by sautéing about a cup of chopped onion in a little olive oil, then adding a couple of smashed garlic cloves and cooking them just until they were fragrant. Next I added my broccoli – the florets as well as the peeled and chopped stems. I poured in about 8-10 cups of my homemade chicken stock, added a pinch of salt, a few shakes of Tabasco, and two heaping tablespoons of Colman’s mustard powder, then covered the pot and let it simmer about 30 minutes, until the broccoli was very tender. I turned off the heat and pureed the soup with my stick blender, then stirred in about 1/2 cup of crème fraiche and my cheese – about 2/3 cup of grated Grafton 2-year aged cheddar, and 1/3 cup of Grafton 4-year.

I ladled the soup into bowls and served it with some of the winter mesclun blend that Mike has been picking up at the Greenmarket, but what I really wish we had had was some crusty bread – the tiny slices of leftover baguette we had weren’t quite enough to mop up the last bits of soup from our bowls, so in the end we just resorted to using our fingers (we’re classy like that). This one’s a definite keeper.