The cooler temperatures of fall have really allowed some of our produce to really thrive and become amazingly delicious. Broccoli is one of those vegetables that has benefited from the cooler weather. You can of course find broccoli in your supermarket all year long, but this time of year it is particularly delicious!
Broccoli has some incredible health benefits for your eyes. Broccoli’s dark green color is an obvious sign for high levels of lycopene. Lycopene is present in most vegetables that have dark/bright colors like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and other colorful veggies. Lycopene is incredibly beneficial for your eye health because it helps protect your eyes from damaging UV rays that can damage your vision. Broccoli also has a high level of beta-carotenes, which are also incredibly helpful in keeping your vision strong and reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration.
Broccoli is one of my personal favorite vegetables because it is so versatile and super fast to prepare. This recipe is incredibly flavorful, and a good one to try even for those you know who may not usually give broccoli the chance it deserves!
Warm Broccoli Salad with Marcona Almonds, Fennel, Orange and Chili Vinaigrette
- 3 bundles long-stemmed broccoli, tough bottoms trimmed
- 1 fennel bulb. cored and sliced very thin
- 1 shallot, minced very fine
- 1 cup Marcona almonds, rough chopped
- 3 oranges, zested and segmented
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
- 3 Garlic Cloves- sliced
- 1 large pinch red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pecorino cheese, for garnish
- Blanch broccoli in a large pot of boiling, salted water until bright green and slightly tender. Remove and shock in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and preserve color and crispness.
- Make vinaigrette by first steeping the olive oil and chili flakes in a small sauce pot on low, until it barely comes up to a boil and garlic is fragrant and chili has steeped and given a slightly red color to oil. Once this is achieved add the zest of all three oranges, and then the sherry vinegar. Mix together until combined and season with salt and pepper. Vinaigrette does not need to be emulsified.
- Cut fennel bulb in half and remove the core. Slice into very small pieces.
- In a large sauté pan heat up two tablespoons of olive oil, along with shallot until tender. Add fennel and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until you can smell the fennel, then add in your broccoli and toss around until heated through. Finish in pan with your vinaigrette. At the last minute throw in Marcona almonds and garnish with shaved pecorino cheese.