Leftovers from the Winter Garden

The last of the broccoli braised with potatoes and plenty of garlic, just before we uprooted the flowering plants.


Although slugs and snails feasted on our broccoli, we had quite an abundant crop this year; certainly more than we could possibly eat. I froze a couple of bags, gave to friends throughout the winter, and now that the time has come to free the space to plant zucchini and the first tomatoes, I decided to make a quick lunch with these very last sprigs. Even Costas enjoyed this extremely simple dish, although he told me he is fed up–he was never a broccoli enthusiast, anyway.



Braised Broccoli and Potatoes with Garlic and Preserved Lemon

This is not a detailed recipe, with precise portions, since I used whatever I had around, without really taking notes. But I am sure you will get the idea.

Instead of broccoli you can cook rapini or any kind of coarsely chopped kale leaves in the same manner, I suppose.

First I choose a few small potatoes—about 1 pound– scrubbed them and halved or quartered the larger ones.
I peeled and sliced thinly 4 fat garlic cloves.
I chose a large, thick-bottomed sauté pan–a deep heavy skillet will do fine–and heated about 1/2 cup olive oil; I added the garlic and potatoes together and sautéed, tossing them often with two spatulas, until the potatoes started to color. Then I added the washed but not completely drained broccoli and some of their tender leaves (about 1 1/2 pounds, I guess) and continued tossing, until the greens were almost completely wilted.


I poured in about 1/2 cup white wine, added 3 chopped pieces preserved lemon (about 1/2 cup with its juice), a good pinch Maraş pepper (you can add pepper flakes, or freshly ground pepper). I also poured in about one cup water, just enough to allow the potatoes and broccoli to cook for a few minutes. I suppose you could add vegetable or chicken broth, instead of water, but the very fresh vegetables I used and the preserved lemon created a really flavorful dish.

There wasn’t even need to add salt, since I don’t rinse the preserved lemon; simply chop and add it to any dish, with some of its thickened juices and the lemon/salty flesh.
We ate the braised broccoli and potatoes with a drizzle of fresh lemon and with feta cheese; it was delicious!


The other day, I also made Broccoli Gratin with Garlic Anchovies, using the recipe for Cauliflower Gratin with Garlic and Anchovies, simply substituting broccoli for the cauliflower. It was really good, and unlike the braised potatoes that are better eaten while fresh, the gratin dish is equally good re-heated the next day.


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