Tag Archives: broccoli

Recipe: Green ‘couscous’

Oops, bit of a hiatus there, wasn’t there?  I really owe this blog another travel post, but basically, I got distracted by politics, and then I got angry about politics and then a woman in my suburb was beaten up on a train for wearing Hijab and I got absolutely furious about politics, joined Women in Solidarity with Hijabis, and put on a headscarf for a week.  Which I then felt compelled to blog about.  And it turns out that when you are writing political blogs nearly every day – and also fighting with scarves and pins every morning, though I seem to have finally mastered the art of getting my scarf to stay on – there isn’t much time left for food blogging.  Sorry.  I have a feeling that between the Islamophobia and the coming State Election, I’m going to be living on Cate Speaks rather a lot for the next little while.

Anyway, the recipe that follows is inspired by a recipe for cauliflower couscous in the Green Kitchen App, which I exhort you all to buy, because it’s awesome.  Also, it has this ribboned asparagus salad recipe with blueberries that I’ve made about four times in the last fortnight.  But, while I wanted to try the cauliflower couscous, my cauliflower was looking rather sad, and my broccoli cheerfully green. Then, couscous is supposed (in my book) to have fruit in it, and here I was with a bag of freeze-dried pomegranates.  Also, I didn’t have pumpkin seeds, but I did have a bag of mixed pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.  And so forth.

Also, my quantities are different.

What this is is a lovely, fresh-tasting recipe that can be made quite fast, and makes a lovely accompaniment to anything rich or protein-ish you were having for dinner.  And one can never have too many recipes like that, in my book.


Your Shopping List

1 head of broccoli
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/3 cup freeze-dried pomegranate seeds (or, of course, you could use the seeds from 1 actual pomegranate)
half a bunch of basil
a small bunch of parsley
80 g goats feta cheese
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup pumpkin seed oil

Continue reading

Recipe: Ravioli with Romesco Sauce and Lemony Broccoli

I don’t even dare look at my blog to see how many weeks have gone by since I’ve written.  I’m so sorry for the hiatus – first work got busy, then I got sick, then I was organising lengthy walks for my walking group and recovering from those, and then I realised that my best friend’s wedding and my overseas trip were no longer so much on the horizon as breathing down my neck, and I was nowhere near ready, and in between, I’ve been obsessively baking cakes from my new favourite cookbook, Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (which I *will* review any day now), with the result that I haven’t been producing many new recipes and I’ve not had any time to write down the ones I have produced.

So I’m terribly sorry, as I said, and will try to make up for this by getting a few posts out before I go, and maybe even finally updating my recipe indices, which are also woefully out of date.  Aargh.

Anyway, this recipe owes a significant debt to Tom Hunt’s book, The Natural Cook, which I recently bought and am enjoying very much.  Essentially, I’ve taken two of his recipes, modified them to my liking, and then combined them in ways he probably never had in mind and mixed them through some roast vegetable ravioli that I bought at the Bundoora Farmers’ Market nearly a month ago (speaking of things I haven’t blogged about, double aargh).

It’s a lovely recipe, though – spicy and healthy and smoky and fresh – and it’s also one of those recipes I think of as ‘accidentally vegan’, which is to say, I wasn’t aiming for a vegan meal, but I essentially produced one.  The ravioli, come to think of it, probably have a bit of egg in them, but I believe one can get vegan ravioli, and one can certainly get vegan pasta, so altogether, this will be useful one to bear in mind next time I manage to entice The Original Cate over to Melbourne.

IMG_6294 Continue reading

Recipe: Orecchiette with Broccoli, Roast Garlic, and Sicilian Flavours

Last night’s dinner was sort of ad-hoc and random.  I was so very zonked.  But I had some lovely, fresh orecchiette from Take Me Home pasta in the fridge, and a couple of heads of broccoli and some roasted garlic, and a whole pantry full of those little flavour-popping ingredients that I couldn’t use all last week – and somehow I had this lovely, vaguely Sicilian, pasta dish on the table in about thirty minutes after I got home.


And then I went to bed.

It was a yummy pasta dish, though.

Your Shopping List

olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
80 g pine nuts
2 big spoonfuls of roasted garlic
1-2 red chillis
2 small heads of broccoli
1/4 cup capers
1/3 cup currants
200 g orecchiette pasta

Continue reading

Recipe: Gnocchi with Broccoli pesto and Tomatoes two ways

Ooh, tomatoes two ways.  So MasterChef, don’t you think?  But one of the points of this recipe really is that one gets to treat the tomatoes essentially as two separate ingredients with separate tastes – the slow-roasted tomatoes (and yes, I know I’m obsessed with these at present) are sweet and deep in flavour, and raw tomatoes are fresh and light and a bit more acidic.  Yum.  As a bonus, you get to use up some of the zucchini which are hopefully taking over your garden in tandem with the tomatoes.  Mine aren’t actually taking over yet, but I live in hope.  And I do seem to be nicely off for zucchinis at present.

And then you top the whole glorious thing off with a big glob (or quenelle, if you are feeling fancy) of broccoli pesto, which has the quadruple advantage of looking good, tasting excellent, adding a bit of protein to your life, and, best of all, not needing to be stirred through the pasta!  (Seriously, has anyone ever achieved a home-made pesto which was actually sufficiently non-solid in texture that it didn’t destroy the pasta or else just sit there in petulant little clumps, mocking you for attempting to stir it through?)

It’s good stuff.

This recipe turns out to serve three people, with rather a lot of pesto left over.  Such a shame – you’ll have to have the reset of it on your beetroot gnocchi tomorrow night…


Your shopping list

450 g cherry tomatoes, preferably from your garden and in assorted colours
5 big roma tomatoes
olive oil, salt, pepper
1 head of broccoli
50 g pine nuts
25 g pistachios
115 g basil puree from a tube
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50 g parmesan
500 g gnocchi
4 zucchini, any kind

Continue reading

Recipe: Cheesy Broccoli Tomato Rolls

Or, Cheesy Cheesy Cheese With Cheese on Top in a Cheesy Roll with some Token Vegetables.  I may have got a bit carried away with the cheese here…

When I was in primary school, our Tuck Shop had some pretty great stuff on the menu.  One favourite of mine was Frozen Oranges, which was basically a quarter of an orange, frozen.  You could buy one for 5 cents, which meant that I could quite often manage to find the money for it on non-lunch-order days, and it was cold and sweet and sour and essentially a treat from the Tuck Shop, which was all that mattered.

On days when I did manage to talk my mother into letting us have lunch orders, however, it was a different matter.  Not being restricted to 5 cent coins, I could set my sights on much grander, and far more exciting horizons.  For a mere 25 cents – I think it went up to 30 cents in my final year of primary school – I could buy a Cheesy Burger.  This little work of genius was a cheese-topped bread roll, split in half, with a slice of cheese put in the middle, and the whole lot grilled (or, on reflection, quite possibly microwaved?  Surely it was a toaster oven, at least?) until the cheese was gooey and melty. 

It was glorious.  The cheese, in retrospect, was almost certainly orange.  Or maybe Kraft plastic cheese.  But that didn’t matter.  What mattered was its sublime cheesiness.  And the fact that I could afford an apricot delight for afterwards…

This recipe is basically a Cheesy Burger for grown-ups.  Which is to say, it is definitely inspired by the Cheesy Burgers of my youth, but it actually does have vegetables.  And proper cheese.  It is still a crime against nutrition, at least if one uses the quantities of cheese I used this evening – and I’m not even going to tell you how much cheese that was, because I am regretting it already – but it does contain some of the elements of a balanced diet.  If one balanced said diet upside down on the pointy, cheesy end.


What can I say?  Sometimes, I just really want melty cheese.  Everything else is just an excuse…

(Astute readers will have noticed that this is not the vegan meal I was planning yesterday.  The weather changed, you see.  Also, I really, really wanted melty cheese…)

Your Shopping List

2 small heads of broccoli, stalks set aside for later soupy use, because you really just want the florets.  My, I’m chatty today, aren’t I?
olive oil, salt, pepper
1 tsp butter

1 small red onion3 cheesy rolls.  Or plain rolls, if you are less silly than me.  Do you want to be less silly than me?  Really?

150 g cheese, glorious cheese!  This is less than I used, but it’s still probably too much.  I used Milawa white cheese, and it was fabulous
about half a batch of slow-roasted tomatoes

Continue reading

Christmas Leftovers Recipe: Zucchini Pesto Surprise muffins

The thing with making a lot of antipasto dips and spreads is that then you have to work out what to do with leftover dips and spreads.  And yes, one could always have them on bread, but that stops being fun after a few days.  One of my favourite uses for antipasto dips is as pasta sauces, though they are also good on pizza bases instead of tomato paste.  But today I’m making food to take to the cricket, which means portable food, so it’s time for these dips to find their way into some muffiny goodness.


The flavour of these muffins will depend a bit on what sort of pesto and dips you are using, but if you play your cards right, they might almost be healthy.  Certainly, the zucchini is a good start in this direction and if, like me, you are using homemade dips in your muffins, you might be working in all sorts of handy vitamins from roasted capsicums, sunflower seeds, broccoli, hazelnuts and herbs.  But having said that, these muffins will work with just about any sort of non-yoghurt-based vegetable or herb dip you have to hand.  So, I wouldn’t try them with hummus or tzatziki, but babaganoush would work, as would olive dip, sun dried tomato dip, or any kind of roast pepper dip or paté. Just make sure you really like the flavour of it, because it will be the main muffiny flavour.

A cream cheese dip would probably work, too, though be prepared for a very cheesy flavour to your muffin.  (Also, you just lost any claim to healthiness in this muffin.  Sorry.)  The dip is replacing some of the liquid, some of the egg, and some of the oil from a standard muffin recipe, so be mindful of this when making your dip selections.

As for the surprise – it’s more pesto!  Or rather, different pesto, in a dollop at the centre of the muffin.  This, in fact, is where your cheesy dip would really work, with a herby pesto in the muffin itself.  Or you could use a cherry tomato for a lovely fresh centre.

Your Shopping and Leftovers List

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour (wholemeal is good if you have it, might as well add an air of healthiness to these muffins)
1/2 tsp herbs such as paprika, oregano, thyme, chilli, fennel – depending on your dip flavours
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, optional
2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
3/4 cup roasted capsicum and sunflower seed spread, or another pesto or vegetable/herb/nut  spread of your choice
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup low fat milk
about 1/2 cup broccoli pesto, or other dip of your choice, or about 16 cherry tomatoes, whole

Continue reading

Christmas Leftovers Recipe: Broccoli Pesto Vichysoisse

It’s hot and stuffy and the house is full of leftovers, and in addition to being exhausted and not especially hungry, I’m actually in a fair bit of pain, which is not very Christmassy at all.  Since you don’t get to take pain medication without food (and, ideally, alcohol), some sort of food preparation is required.

This recipe is, basically, a leftovers dish.  It’s stock from the slow-cooked chicken, leftover roast potatoes and leftover broccoli dip.  The quantities are nonexistent because it was just what I had in the fridge, but you should think of this as more of a template for making creative use of leftovers.   I’ll be posting a few recipes like this in the next few days, because I can’t possibly be the only one who overcatered.

Also, it’s lovely and cold and easy to eat, even in this hot weather.  And it’s a very fetching shade of green, too.


Your Leftovers List
Leftover potatoes from Christmas dinner – roasted, baked, gratin or even scalloped – the cream will be a nice touch!
Leftover broccoli pesto, or leftover pesto or any pesto or other dip composed primarily of herbs, vegetables and nuts
Leftover steamed broccoli, if there was  no broccoli in your pesto
Stock or water.  If you have a chicken or turkey carcase, it would be very much in the spirit of this recipe to make stock out of it, which is what I did, so I’m supplying the recipe below.  It’s easy.

Continue reading

Recipe: Beetroot gnocchi with broccoli

dinner2This was my lovely, lazy, farmers’ market dinner tonight and it was so simple and delicious that I had to post about it.  I’m not sure it even counts as a recipe, because it’s seriously too easy for words – I didn’t even make the gnocchi! – and has about four ingredients.  It’s more of an idea than anything else.  But it’s a very good idea…

Your Shopping List (this is a meal for 2 people)

40 g butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon of olive oil.  I never said that this was a low-fat recipe.
500 g beetroot gnocchi.  You can make these yourself, but if you are a Melburnian, I recommend hunting down Take Me Home Pastas at a farmers’ market and buying some from them.
1 bunch of sprouting broccoli, or a head of ordinary broccoli
smoked licorice salt, or smoked salt, or just salt
black pepper
fresh parmesan cheese

Continue reading

Recipe: Macaroni Cheese with chipotle pepper, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables

Ah, cheesy pasta bake.  The best comfort food in the world, not least because you can put practically anything in it successfully.  Pasta bakes are my go-to dish when I have a lot of random vegetables in the fridge and no idea what to do with them.  Or when I have bits of cheese in the fridge with no apparent unifying factor.  Or when I am tired and unimaginative and just want some melty cheesy goodness to make everything better.

My pasta bakes actually started life as tuna casserole, but over the years, the veggies have gradually edged out the tuna.  Corn developed companion onions, then capsicums and carrots and celery, then baby spinach or other leafy greens, then asparagus or tomato or cauliflower or broccoli, and pretty soon you end up with a situation where you look at the casserole dish and you look at the vegetables and the cheesy sauce and you realise that you will have to choose between adding tuna and adding pasta (or a situation in which you pile everything into the dish, totaly misjudge its capacity, and end up with cheese sauce all over the kitchen).  The tuna always loses.  The cheesy sauce, you will note, is never even considered as something to leave out.  While I have made pasta bakes without it, cheesy sauce really is the point of this dish.

Anyway, while I never really make the same pasta bake twice, tonight’s iteration was successful enough that I felt I ought to write it down.  The quantities are a little vague, but I think you should view this not as a bug but as a feature – consider the areas of uncertainty an opportunity for you to add your own chosen ingredients.  Or more cheese.  Go wild!

Your shopping list

(technically, this is not a shopping list, because if you are doing this right, it’s more of a case of foraging through the fridge and realising that hey, you have a roasted pepper over here, and look!  there’s still some mascarpone left!  But if you are actually trying to replicate what I did, here is what you need.)

1/2 a bunch of baby spinach
1/2 a bunch of rocket
1 roasted pepper
2 heads of broccoli
2 heads of baby cauliflower or half a head of the full-grown kind
6 spring onions
75 g butter (garlic butter is good)
90 g flour
750 ml milk
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, plus a couple of teaspoons of the sauce
100 g cheddar
100 g parmesan (actually, I have absolutely no idea how much cheese I used, but it was certainly a lot)
75 g mascarpone, maybe.  I really have no idea about this one – it was what was left in the tub…
black pepper
375 g curly pasta or short pasta of your choice

Continue reading