I first tried long-cooked broccoli at Campanile restaurant, visiting the restaurant many Thursday nights to eat one of their delicious sandwich creations. Nancy Silverton, former owner of La Brea Bakery and co-owner of Campanile, is the genius behind the delicious long-cooked broccoli sandwich, and this broccoli was unlike any I had ever eaten. It was soft but not mushy, and slightly sweet with lovely caramel notes. The long cooking process helps draw out the natural sugars from the broccoli. Though she has since sold La Brea Bakery and Campanile has closed its doors, Silverton has written many cookbooks, and in one she shares her recipe for long-cooked broccoli. I’ve used the recipe many times and have adapted it slightly here, adding it to my frittata recipe.
This frittata is delicious, but he broccoli is the star in this recipe. While the broccoli does takes about 1 1/2 hours to cook, don’t let the long cooking time intimidate you. You only need to stir the dish occasionally during cooking, so you can go exercise, prep other food, or read a book – just stay nearby so you check up on it from time to time. This the perfect dish to make on a leisurely Sunday morning, and I recommend serving it with light salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. As an alternative, you could use this long-cooked broccoli in pasta or on pizza. Enjoy!
Long-Cooked Broccoli Frittata
12 ounces of broccoli head (sliced 1/4″ thin)
1/8 cup of Kosher salt
1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)
1/2 small onion (thinly sliced)
3/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons of heavy cream (optional)
1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for topping
1/4 teaspoon of freshly-grated black pepper
1. Bring 2 quarts of water and 1/8 cup salt to boil. Add the broccoli and boil for 2 minutes.
2. While the broccoli is boiling, get an ice water bath ready.
3. When the broccoli is ready, using a spider strainer, transfer broccoli to a ice water bath. Remove the broccoli and pat with paper towels until dry.
4. In a 12″ stainless steel sauté pan, add the olive oil, blanched broccoli, onion, garlic, sea salt, and red pepper flakes.
5. Cook over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
It should look like this at the halfway point.
6. Once the broccoli is done, preheat the oven to 375°.
7. In a large bowl, crack the 8 eggs. Add the the heavy cream and whisk.
8. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the black pepper. Give it another good whisk.
9. Turn up heat to high on the broccoli. Wait 1 minute. Add the eggs over the broccoli. Cook over the burner for 1 minute. Transfer to the the oven.
10. Bake for about 10 minutes. Make sure the center is set and not jiggly. Broil for 1 minute until the top is golden brown.
11. Remove from the oven. Loosen the frittata using a fish spatula. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Grate additional Parmigiano-Reggiano. Slice into 6 triangles.
12. Serve warm with a side salad. I like to serve it bottom side up, since it has a nice golden color.