Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Garlic and Lemon Sautéed Broccoli

The other night, I was out to dinner in San Francisco. I was with several other people, some of whom are aware that I am vegan, some not. Part of my mission as a vegan is to present the very best example of what being vegan is. That means being positive rather than negative, talking about the joys rather than the restrictions of my lifestyle, and just generally being low-maintenance. By “low-maintenance” I don’t mean compromising, but rather going with the flow. I want to create an image of veganism, such that when people think of me, they don’t remember pressure, guilt, or shame, but my own exuberance and vitality.

So, back to dinner. It wasn’t the most vegan friendly restaurant, so my options were limited. When one of my companions leaned over, and asked me what I was getting, I told her there weren’t a ton of choices, but I was excited to try a couple of the side dishes. She was instantly apologetic and asked if I wanted to go elsewhere. I said, “Of course not!” I really try to find something to eat at every restaurant, because it makes my life easier; it sends a positive message to my friends, that being vegan doesn’t mean restricting yourself; and it makes a statement to restaurants that vegan options are in demand. In the end, I had the most incredible sautéed broccoli, shoestring fries, and a Meyer lemon drop cocktail, and I was in heaven. The broccoli was so delicious that I recreated it at home last night, and it’s definitely going into my greens rotation.

Garlic and Lemon Sautéed Broccoli

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the garlic and red pepper. Sauté the garlic for 5 minutes, until fragrant, taking care not to burn it.

Meanwhile, place the broccoli in a microwave safe dish with a few tablespoons of water. Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 3 minutes, until almost tender.

Add the broccoli and lemon zest to the garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, cover, and cook for 3 to five minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Drizzle with lemon juice, and sauté briefly. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great recipe! I love sauteed broccoli, and the red pepper and lemon really make this a fantastic dish. I made it for my mom, and she said she didn't miss the butter thanks to the lemon juice! The only change I made was to steam the broccoli on the stove instead of in the microwave, though it's great to know I can use the microwave, too!

    Also, I really commend your optimism and adaptability in eating out! I completely agree with your reasoning... I find it fun to see what "accidentally" vegan dishes I can find at mainstream restaurants. Sometimes the pickings are very slim, but it makes a positive statement!