Monday, January 27, 2014

roast broccolini with preserved lemon and yogurt sauce

Today I want to share one of our favorite winter side dishes with you (though we often eat it as an entree), something we came up with after eating a similar dish at a favorite local restaurant. It's simple, requires few ingredients and little prep, and the results are flavorful and healthy - just the ticket for January! If you're interested in making your own preserved lemons, I have posted my recipe here. I think the homemade ones are a lot better than the kind you can get in the store, though - so if you try this dish and you like it, you might want to consider making your own preserved lemons. It doesn't take long to make them and they can be processed in a hot water bath and then put up for months (during which time, their flavor only further develops).

Alright, enough ado: on to the broccolini! Here's the recipe as we make it most nights, as a main dish for two people. You can easily halve, double or otherwise shift the proportions for this dish; it's very forgiving.

2 bunches baby broccoli/broccolini (regular broccoli can be substituted; just cut the broccoli into florets, and cut the stalk into long sticks)
1 Moroccan-style (also known as American-style) preserved lemon
olive oil
dried red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

8 oz nonfat plain greek yogurt (we liked to use Fage for this)
2-3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (this is the time to use the really good stuff, if you have some on hand)
1-2 Tbs chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Place broccolini (or broccoli florets and sliced stalk) onto a heavy baking sheet or roasting pan. Chop preserved lemon. Drizzle broccolini with olive oil (1-2 Tbs is fine), sprinkle lemon bits over the broccolini, and top with a few pinches of dried red pepper flakes (to taste). Season with salt and pepper, using a light hand with the salt - remember, the preserved lemon is very salty! Toss broccolini until it is evenly coated with oil and seasonings.

Roast broccolini in oven until florets are starting to darken and develop a slight char, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make yogurt sauce:

Stir together nonfat plain yogurt, chopped mint, and olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. A note on how much olive oil to add: make sure that the flavor of the olive oil comes through; this sauce should not simply taste like yogurt; you should be able to detect some of the fruity flavor of the oil. Add a bit of salt to balance the sour tang of the yogurt.

To serve:

When broccolini is done, pile on a platter and served with yogurt sauce on the side (or drizzle yogurt sauce over if you like).

No comments: