Country broccoli

Submitted by Rob & Margaret at Crackpot.

This is a hi-veg recipe laced with bacon. All the ingredients grow well in Yorkshire. We discovered it some thirty years ago in a French recipe book and it has become a staple – a satisfyingly savoury vegfest. Looking back at the original recipe (for the first time in ages) has been interesting: it has evolved into a lighter, fresher dish over the years.

For two:

  • 1 medium stem of broccoli
  • 2 or 3 medium carrots
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • A generous handful of mushrooms
  • 4-5 shallots
  • Olive oil
  • Clove of garlic (optional)
  • Parsley to garnish (optional)

Separate the broccoli stem from the florets. Cut the stem and the carrots into chunky chip sized pieces and put to simmer for several minutes in a shallow pan of water. Meanwhile, start to soften the halved shallots and the coarsely chopped garlic in the olive oil in a wide pan that takes a lid. After a couple of minutes, add the bacon, cut into strips, and continue to gently fry until everything has a little bit of colour. Add the florets of broccoli, split into 6-8 pieces, a little water from the simmering veg and cover the pan so the florets start to steam.

When the broccoli stem and carrots are nearly cooked, add them to the pan with some more of their liquid and the mushrooms, halved or quartered. Cover again and leave for 5 minutes. If there’s too much liquid, remove the lid to let it reduce. You want the dish to be moist with a little bit of ‘gravy’ but it shouldn’t be swimming.

Once the veg is cooked but still firm, serve immediately, garnished with parsley, along with good country bread and butter.  

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