Friday, February 12, 2010

What is Broccoflower? Broccoli and Cauliflower's Wild Child.

green cauliflower or broccoflower  DSC_0001

Can two duds mate and create a beauty? Yes, they can.

Look at broccoli and cauliflower. For years these unassuming, cold-weather crucifers have withstood derision. They have been called bland, boring, even, smelly. Unfair, yes, but true.

Then one day broccoli and cauliflower shocked the world: They got together and produced a wild child, which they named, rather predictably, broccoflower. Broccoflower resembles its parents in shape, texture, and flavor, though it can sometimes be sweeter. Its color, however, is radically different. Broccoflower's psychedelic lime green coloring stops market-goers in their tracks. So too does its price, which is typically $4-5 a head. It's funny though how most people who wouldn't dream of paying $2.99 for a head of white cauliflower will gladly fork over $4-5 for a head of broccoflower.

Cook and eat broccolflower as you would broccoli or cauliflower -- raw, steamed, boiled, broiled, roasted, or sauteed. Cooking it al dente helps maintain its vivid color and crisp texture. For a fast, delicious, and healthy mid-week meal, try this Easy Chicken Saute with Broccoflower, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Olives. Broccoflower's sweetness is accentuated by pungent onions, rich sun-dried tomatoes, and briny olives.

Despite its humble lineage, weird name, and supernatural color, there's no denying, broccoflower is a cruciferous starlet. 


Easy Chicken Saute with Broccoflower, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Olives
Serves 4
Print recipe only here.

Feel free to add a couple of drops of vinegar to the water as you par-boil the broccoflower to help maintain its vivid color.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 - 1 1/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and black pepper
1 medium head broccoflower, broken into florets
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced mixed olives, such as Cerignola and Kalamata
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (or basil or parsley)

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil; add onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper; cook until browned all over yet still tender, about 8-10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile cut broccoflower into florets. Place in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes; drain.

3. Once chicken is browned, add the broccoflower, cooking until browned in spots. Add white wine (the alcohol will burn off, but the food will be infused with its flavor). Once the alcohol reduces, add the vegetable broth, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 10-12 minutes. Turn off heat; stir in fresh rosemary and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You could also sprinkle a little freshly grated Parmesan on top.

You might also enjoy these bold, colorful recipes from Food Blogga: 
Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Hearty Mediterranean Vegetable Stew with Olives 
Wild Arugula and Blood Orange Salad with Prosciutto
Roasted Acorn Squash with Medjool Dates and Toasted Almonds

You might also enjoy these broccoflower recipes: 
Oven Roasted Broccoflower recipe at Piccante Dolce
Broccoflower Soup recipe at La Tartine Gourmande
Matcha Wasabi Mashed Broccoflower recipe at Eating Out Loud