All Couples Discuss Broccoli at Breakfast, Right?

This morning at breakfast Ken (my hunky BF) and I were discussing the day. You know, getting the lay of the land for the next 24 hours. All couples do that… Would there be business stuff tonight, or no? Would he be around for dinner or not? The man works and works and works, so I always gotta ask.

He mentioned his day included meeting people for coffee and dessert sometime after 8pm, but dinner at home was on the agenda (goodie, I thought!).

So, (more to myself than anything) I said: “That’s great I have a pound of broccoli florets that need to be eaten while they are still fresh and green.”

To my surprise, he not only heard me but he answered.

He said: “Oh you should make that super lemony, crisp broccoli and garlic salad like we used to get at Fab’s in the valley”.

First off, by “we” he meant he and his old (I mean previous) BF. But I let that pass. After nearly 20 years of coupledom I figure I’d know if he still held a torch for an old flame. No need to be dramatic, though I am perfectly capable of being dramatic if need be.

Of course, the recipe was another story. That I could not be so sure about. I mean, I was working at a disadvantage here, I was not a part of the “we” that “liked” said “broccoli salad”, was I? No I was the “me” that had never had this salad before. Oh, wait… I am getting dramatic. Scale it back, Greg.

broccoliSo calmly, and with out drama, I asked him to describe it. Which he did in some detail. Hmmmm…

I had to admit it did indeed sound delicious. It also sounded simple. A little too simple (I thought). Because basically its al dente broccoli florets tossed in lemon zest and juice, with plenty of chopped, cooked garlic and a smidge of olive oil; served cold.

Well I decided it was time to bring new memories to that broccoli salad. No longer would he refer to this salad as that salad “we” used to like. No after tonight he’d call it Greg’s Awesome Broccoli Salad with Lemon, Garlic and Shitake Mushrooms.

So, with out giving anything away, I set him about his day as I set my plan in motion.

Although I know it sounds dramatic, maybe even dangerous; I decided to add shitake mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and a big flourish of olive oil to this salad. And I mean, the good stuff… the olive oil I hide in the back of the pantry and not any ole parmesan, nope I used  Parmigiano-Regiano. The real deal.

All I can say is, I think it turned out great. As I write this its chilling in the fridge.

But, dinner is not for 3 hours yet, so wish me luck. Because if Ken says this is not the salad “we” used to like; I just might have to rethink the last 20 years of my life…

No, I am just kidding. I wouldn’t let a salad come between us. Would I? Would I?

Greg’s Awesome Broccoli Salad with Lemon, Garlic and Shitake Mushrooms SERVES 4

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 clv garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh lemon, left whole
  • 3 oz shitake mushrooms
  • 1 lb broccoli florets
  • grated parmesan cheese and very good olive oil for garnish

broccoli saladHeat the olive oil in a small sauce pan and add the garlic. Cook over medium heat about 5–7 minutes until the garlic is fragrant, but not yet browned. Set aside.

Zest the lemon into a medium sized serving bowl. Then cut it in half and squeeze all it’s juice into the same bowl. Avoid getting the seeds into the mixture. Set aside.

Clean and slice the mushroom vertically through the cap. Set aside

Place the broccoli florets in to a microwave proof bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Microwave, on high, about 3 minutes, until the brocoli is bright gren and tender crisp. Remove the plastic wrap and run cool water into the bowl, empty and repeat several times to stop the cooking quickly.

Using a salad spinner dry the florets as well as possible and add them to the serving bowl with the lemon mixture. Follow this with the garlic pieces and all its oil. Toss the mixture well. Refrigerate until cold and ready to serve.

To serve toss the broccoli salad with the reserved mushroom slices and divide the salad evenly among 4 plates. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Serve.



Greg Henry