I wish the title of my post could be taken literally, because I’d love to meet Mr. Pepin… Unfortunately (or perhaps I should say malheureusement), I was just playing with one of his recipes: a broccoli puree from his book “Fast Food My Way” that might very well be one of the side dishes I make most often. I am not the only one who loves it, Phil asks me to make it whenever he is grilling a side of salmon or cooking fish filets. It is a perfect accompaniment for seafood, but I also like to pair it with roast chicken or pork. Versatile, non?
BROCCOLI AND SPINACH PUREE WITH BROWN BUTTER
(inspired by Jacques Pepin)
2 large heads of broccoli, florets only
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups spinach leaves (or more, to taste)
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the broccoli florets and the garlic clove. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid.
Melt the butter in a small skillet and cook it over low heat until it turns golden brown. Do not let it burn.
Put the broccoli and garlic in the bowl of a food processor, add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Process until almost smooth, open the processor, drizzle the browned butter and add the spinach leaves on top. Process again until fully smooth, adding a bit of the reserved cooking liquid until the puree achieves a consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve right away, or refrigerate. It reheats well in the microwave.
to print the recipe, click here
I do hope you’ll try my version of Pepin’s recipe, it is amazing how just a little spinach took this puree to a higher level. A subtle change in texture, a real bump in flavor. I normally don’t preach on nutritional content of food, but the humble spinach always makes me feel great. Old Popeye cartoons speaking (and dating me), I suppose.
This puree matched nicely with a simple tilapia filet prepared according to this recipe. Leftovers can be either enjoyed after a quick tour in the microwave, or… go the indulgent route and use it as a basis for a souflee. I suggest following the basic method from Julia Child. You simply cannot go wrong by joining Julia & Jacques. Almost as good as Sally and Phil… ;-)
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