HIGH FIVE. Oh yeah.
I got W to eat broccoli. And not only eat it – LOVE IT. One small step for W, one giant leap for motherkind.
A few days ago I made a pot of pasta fazool (must have been for lunch) and W walked in, looked at it, and said: “what! I don’t eat vegetables!” and stomped outside. Five minutes later I could hear him out on the patio, back arched, yelling at the sky: “I need some SUGAR!!”
So I became determined to get him to eat broccoli. He’s fine with spinach, so long as it’s cooked and on pizza or mixed into meatballs or some such. Peas get snuck in if they’re mixed with rice, but mostly he tries to eat around them. It’s not the green he’s against per se – he loves pesto – it’s the vegetableness of things like asparagus and broccoli. He won’t touch raw veg like sugar snap peas or (god forbid) leafy green salads.
So I focused on the loving of the pesto. Whizzed broccoli might look a lot like pesto. And taste like it too, if I added a handful of fresh basil leaves, garlic and Parmesan. I went to the Crossroads market this morning and picked me up some broccoli and basil. I roasted it, rather than steam or boil it and leave it soggy while losing nutrients. (Roasting, by the way, is by far my favourite way to cook broccoli. It morphs it into something without that cabbagey bitterness – it’s sweeter, nuttier, intense, with crispy bits.) I wish I had thought of roasting a couple garlic cloves along with it, just to take the edge off; we all have some serious garlic breath tonight. Not that there’s any risk of making out or anything. (Garlic breath might facilitate that anyway, if you ask Mike.)
When it was done and cooled a bit, I mulched it in the food processor with a handful of basil (8 leaves or so?), a small clove of garlic, a pinch of coarse salt, and a good grating of Parmesan cheese. (No pine nuts.) Then with the motor running, I dribbled in some olive oil. Damn. I had to keep myself from eating it all off the spatula as I scraped down the sides of the bowl.
Meanwhile, a pot of whole wheat rotini was boiling, and Mike was grilling chicken – something I haven’t had in a very long time. I made a quick vinaigrette/marinade out of lime juice, olive oil, crushed garlic and a drizzle of honey. Half went over the chicken to marinate for an hour or so, and the rest was saved to toss with greens. The greens were dressed and set on plates as a bed for the grilled chicken. There are a lot of things you could add to this salad to make it more interesting, but I was focused on the pesto.
I am totally trying this again with asparagus. I may just go buy a caseload of whole wheat rotini, broccoli, basil and Parmesan and just settle in for the summer. We’ll call it Willem chow. (I know it doesn’t look like much, but there was a lot of broccoli in there, and we (mostly he) polished it off with only about 1/4 cup of pesto left over for tomorrow.)
In other news, my kitchen was featured on the Kitchn today! Check it out.
One Year Ago: Jambalaya