When I first starting really cooking in the kitchen, side dishes were something of a mystery to me. I guess maybe because I never really thought about it as a kid. All I remember is there being some form of vegetable on my plate that I rarely wanted to eat.
I wasn’t picky or anything.
So, I started side dishes with frozen vegetables. Primarily, corn, peas and green beans.
As I gained more courage and knowledge in the kitchen, I started to branch out. I even tried broccoli (gasp!), eggplant (ick) and many more fresh vegetables that I wouldn’t even have dared to try as a kid.
What has really helped me along with side dishes is my go-to, all-time favorite cookbook. How can you not trust a kitchen that is dedicated to trying a recipe over a hundred times until it is just right? There is an awesome vegetable section that I use constantly. It has made me love and appreciate vegetables much much more. I mean really, who wants a vegetable that isn’t properly cooked?
(*Note: I do not have any affiliation with America’s Test Kitchen, they don’t even know who I am!)
Pan Roasted Broccoli with Asian Flavors
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
- 2 medium broccoli heads, cut into florets with stems discarded
- 4 Tablespoons water, divided
- 1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
Heat 2 teaspoons of the grapeseed oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the broccoli and cook, without stirring, until they are browned on the bottoms, about 2 minutes.
Add 3 tablespoons of water, cover, and cook until the broccoli is bright green, but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until the water has evaporated and the broccoli is tender, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together until smooth the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, parsley, 1 tablespoon water, garlic and brown sugar.
Off the heat, toss the peanut butter mixture with the broccoli. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Source: Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook