I'm sorry, I know I have a broccoli rubble problem. But you see, broccoli rubble in itself was a solution to another problem and perhaps we've created a monster, but it's a delicious monster. We are going to keep it. Let me rewind and explain. Problem: ...
I’m sorry, I know I have a broccoli rubble problem. But you see, broccoli rubble in itself was a solution to another problem and perhaps we’ve created a monster, but it’s a delicious monster. We are going to keep it.
Let me rewind and explain. Problem: Two children (not the aforementioned monsters, or at least not yet today) who do eat different vegetables at different times but really only reliably both eat broccoli each time. Plus two parents who are growing bored with eating steamed (because they haven’t yet seen the light of crispy roasted broccoli, although they are wrong and we tell them this often) broccoli all the time. Solution: Give it a fine chop (rubble it, if you will) and sauté it in olive oil with a heap of garlic, as many red pepper flakes as we can get away with, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper and then finish it with fresh lemon juice and a fistful of grated pecorino romano (particularly excellent here for its pungent saltiness) for a mixture that’s zinging with enough flavor you’d eat it from a fork with nothing else.
But it’s so good, we prefer to stretch it into dinner as often as possible. We’ve finished it with these pangrattato crumbs and a crispy egg, or when at room temperature, a ball of burrata. (Which is becoming the new #putaneggonit, at least when we find it for a reasonable price.) We’ve tucked it between a piece of toast and slice of provolone for broccoli melts. We’ve put it on top of a slick of garlicky béchamel with torn mozzarella on top for broccoli pizzas. And now there’s this: a farro salad that’s as good warm as it is at room temperature, which means it can be ready for all the weekend picnics and potlucks to come, or for dinner any night of the week. Such as this one.
I have expressed in the past — oh, one, two, three, four, five, or perhaps 500 times — my adoration of cakes where the layers are thin and many and you have my word that one day, I will get to all of them so please tell me about your favorite here and now. For many years, I fiddled with ways to make cake layers thinner and thinner until I probably exasperated everyone, so it was just in the nick of time that I realized if I began with cookie-ish layers (say, soft macaroons or icebox cookies the size of cakes), and filled them with something fluffy that would soften them into “cakes” (whipped cream and its variants), it got easy enough that we could make them more often, which, after all, is the goal. Cookies aren’t limited by the number or size of your cake pans. Cookies can break and still stack into an excellent cake.
About a year ago, over a series of weekends I was up too early anyway, I went on a buttermilk pancake-making bender. I tried, well, not all, but several of the recipes I always read about, the loftys and the fluffys and the best-evers. I used, in turn, cornstarch and vinegar and unseemly amounts of butter, I separated egg whites, I rested batters, and every single one of these pancakes was consumed by happy children but not a-one of them stayed as tall as they left the pan for more than a few minutes and I was gravely disappointed. It was very possibly user error; all pancakes were made before 8:30 a.m. on weekends, pre-coffee. Regardless, I tabled it and moved on.Read more »
I realize that spring is supposed to be all flowers and pastels, lightness and lemon zest, but all of these cool, rainy days in the last month make me crave winter spices, no matter how many tomatoes and herbs I have planted this week (so many, eee) in hopes, despite all historical evidence, that this is the year I excel at container gardening. And so when a teacher at my son’s school brought me a bag of the most gorgeous, deeply red rhubarb (I really am this lucky), I knew immediately that this cake would have buttery, lightly caramelized stripe-y rhubarb topping draped over it. If you’re ever asking yourself if it’s been too long since you had an upside-down cake, the answer is always yes.