Are you looking for a new, innovative way to make your veggies stand out at dinner? Well this is a great way to cook any veggie. Pan-searing your veggies gives them a very crisp, bright taste. I will note that it can be very spicy from the red pepper flakes, which if you don’t like that, you can leave them out! This trick can work for many different vegetables (we have only tried it for broccoli) and gives such a clean taste, without the veggie being overcooked, soggy, or raw, which I know some people don’t like. Pan-searing the veggies is a great way to make them stand out in a “standard” dinner of meat-starch-veggie: give your veggies some pizzaz!
Cooking Notes: We used broccoli for this first attempt at pan-searing and have sadly not yet attempted any other veggies; suggested veggies are broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, or carrots! They also recommend using whatever kind of oil you prefer, like grapeseed, olive, or sunflower-we just used grapeseed oil to prevent smoking up the kitchen as much as possible, however olive oil should work fine.
Pan-Seared Broccoli (adapted from The Kitchn; serves 4)
1 lb. broccoli
1-2 tbsp grapeseed oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
Rinse broccoli, dry, and chop into bite-sized pieces. (Getting them dry is important because it chars they best when absolutely dry.) Add oil to the pan (a wok or stir-fry pan is best) and heat over medium-high to high heat. You want it to be enough to film the bottom of the pan with a thin coating.
When the oil gets shimmery and there’s a slight wisp of smoke, add the broccoli to the hot pan. Sprinkle red pepper flakes and salt over the broccoli. Lay the lemon cut-side down on the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, undisturbed, until bottom side is blackened. After 2 minutes, lift the lid and check for doneness. Give the broccoli a quick toss and let the other side blacken for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer broccoli to a serving platter or plate, allowing to cool slightly before eating. Squeeze the blackened lemon half over the brocoli and eat!
Recipe: The Kitchn: Pan-Seared Veggies