Over the weekend we house sat and watched two of the cutest dogs (which did not help my desire for a dog of my own one bit!). The house was only a mile or so from our own, which was convenient, but the real reason I'm telling you this was because this house has an amazing kitchen. A drool worthy kitchen for even those who don't like to cook much, but who can appreciate quality appliances, a refrigerator with glass doors, a freezer drawer that rolls out and matches the wood cabinetry, and a beautiful working stove from the turn of the century. There was even five different light settings to choose from and a view into her backyard garden sanctuary.
I go to this friends house at least once a week, but had never stayed long enough to actually cook there. Aside from having to open just about every cupboard in search of things as simple as a vegetable peeler, which is normal in any unfamiliar kitchen, it was pure luxury. Even after using her knives it made the knives I use day to day (which I thought were sharp) feel like I was cutting this broccoli with a dull stone. Have you ever had this experience? Or maybe the opposite? All I know is that when I one day have the means to design my own kitchen I will have high standards.
Being in another persons kitchen always reminds me of the fact that I need to leave my comfort zone a bit when cooking. Everyone's spice rack is different. Working around things that are commonplace in your own might not always be common for someone else. I reminded myself of this fact when I pulled this broccoli out and was just about to make my go-to garlic roasted broccoli with a squirt of lemon at the end, but then decided to change it up a bit and do something new.
There is still plenty of garlic, love the stuff, but I added a bit of heat from the red pepper flakes and a unique twist from the plum vinegar. Topped it all off with a splash of sesame oil and sprinkle of sesame seeds for a quick side dish served alongside some sweet potato fries (another regular staple) and grilled tofu.
Sautéed Garlic Sesame Broccoli
l head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons plum vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
sprinkle of sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a medium sauce pan of water to a boil. Boil the broccoli for about 15-30 seconds, just enough to know it will cook through once it goes into the pan. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking, set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, just before it starts to turn golden brown. Quickly toss in the broccoli and red pepper flakes, sauté for about 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in the vinegar, it should boil up and reduce when you do this, sauté for another minute or so, then remove from heat.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle sesame oil over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve hot.