Monday, 11 October 2010

Enchanted Purple Broccoli Forest

We had a rather lazy weekend.
The most active I got was walking through the park and wading through the golden, crisp autumnal leafy path.
Now and again, I spotted a mushroom carpet that only reminded me of beautifully drawn illustrations found in fairytale books.
I thought it was only fitting that I went home and made something ‘enchanting’. I remembered a dish I made many years ago called 'The Enchanted Broccoli Forest'. This dish comes to mind whenever I actually see trees that do look like broccoli florets, unlike these of course, but its about the spirit and memories they conjure up.
This recipe is described as ‘Broccoli trees planted in an herbed rice pilaf’. It makes a good oven to table dish.
So what else would we find in this edible not-so-purple broccoli forest?
I don’t have the ankle biters, rug-rats aka my nephews and nieces around to amuse and play with me, so now and again have to find silly ways of entertain myself. I hope you don’t mind playing along. And remember please don’t eat the animals!
D didn't want to play and said it looked 'like a nativity scene with blasted trees'. My response like a precocious teenager ‘Whatever!’. I think he's right though, just don't tell him.
Enchanted Purple Broccoli Forest
Serves 4
Cooked brown or white rice enough for 4 people. Set aside.
250g sprouting purple or green broccoli florets with stalks (trim a little if you wish)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne to taste
2 tablespoons fresh mint
Handful of fresh parsley, minced
50g toasted sunflower seeds
Cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
Preheat oven to gas mark x Steam the broccoli until just tender. Drain well and set aside. Heat the oil in a large, deep pan. Add the onion, garlic and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add lemon juice and sauté for a couple of minutes. Stir in the rice, season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne, the herbs. Spread into the pan. Scatter over the sunflower seeds and the cheese if using. Now arrange the broccoli upright in the rice. Cover loosely with foil, and bake until just heated through (about 15 – 20 minutes). Serve right away. Adapted from Moosewoods the Enchanted Broccoli Forest.


  1. This is great! I would have loved to play, even if it does look like a Nativity scene w/ blasted trees. LOL :D

  2. Something from the Pauper's Cookbook next - I dare you!

  3. So much fun! I do have little ones to amuse. I'll have to try this one. I love the photo's you picked to start the post off.

  4. Enchanted Broccoli Forest is my go to vegetarian cookbook...have had it for years..and love it's simple layout and especially the quiche recipe..with..substitute this or that))).

    About the little animals...I love them MC..and if we had children around, they would love them too. Charming and delightful presentation.

  5. Good for you staying young at heart- I love it!

  6. That is pretty cool. I bet my husband's grandsons (they are 3 and 7 and vegetarians and love broccoli) would love this!

  7. i LOVE the mushroom photo. and what a cute dish! i just picked up that cookbook from a thrift store a few weeks ago and haven't had a chance to really study it--i didn't know the title was the name of a recipe. how whimsical and awesome.

  8. Sometimes I think that men just pretend to roll their eyes at girly games
    ;-) but they like us after all.

    Maybe next time you could make a soccer field for D :-)

  9. These are the most beautiful photos and I LOVE the nativity scene, blasted trees or not! Now, where are my farm animals...?!

  10. So cute!
    It remembers me my son who was happy to eat "trees"! This is how he called broccoli when he was a toddler! I should have cook him a nice forrest like yours! Too late now. But I can do it for me!
    Thank you!

  11. The dish and your weekend sound lovely :)

  12. Thank you for stopping by my blog and complimenting my embroidery! I've been looking over your blog, and I love it! I will definitely be frequenting.

  13. It looks like it is going to be a bumper year for wild mushrooms, they are everywhere!

  14. cute mushrooms and amusing animals in your forest - I love that recipe - esp the name - but the last time I made it I think it reacted with the metal tray I did it in so must remember ceramic next time. You have also managed to keep your broccoli much greener than I do!

  15. Thank you Rose for playing :)

    So lovely to receive a comment from you Mal. I also wanted to say a big Thank you to you for supporting my blog. It is really appreciated.

    I would take you up on your dare immediately if I had the book. I thought I did own a copy and went to look on my bookshelf, but I do not seem to have it. I have 'The Penniless Vegetarian and a number of frugal cookbooks, but strangely not that classic. I promise to make something from the Pauper's Cookbook within the next two month, first I have to track down a copy!
    Kind wishes.

    Thank you so much Alissa.
    Your little ones will be amused. Good way to get them to eat their greens too.

    So pleased to read that you have this book Gardeningbren. Its certainly a USA vegetarian classic.

    Thank you so much for liking the little animals and like you if I had children around, I am sure they would love them too. Thank you as always for your warming comments.

    Well Thank you Lovely Lexa.

    Thank you Kateri.
    I have no doubt your husband's grandsons would love this dish, but get them to eat the veg first before they can play!

  16. Thank you so much Emily.
    I haven't used the cookbook much to be honest, I've had it for years and have only cooked four dishes from it. The whimsical title being one of them (twice). I wonder if your version is the original, second edition or the New version printed in 2000 like mine?!

    Your right Alessandra.
    They do like us,moreso when we feed them with love :)

    Like the idea of a soccer field, maybe one-day.

    Thank you so, so much The KitchenMaid.
    Hope you find your farm animals :D

    Thank you spécialiste de l'éphémère.
    Its never too late, but good for you having a young heart like mine (hee hee) so you can enjoy instead.

    Thank you Indie.Tea :)

    Thank you for repaying the compliment Heather.

  17. Your right Matron.
    Just a shame I am not familiar with them. Need to hang out with some fungis!

    Thank you Johanna GGG.
    The mushrooms were cute, I have no idea whehter or not they were edible though. I have still to dip my feet into mushroom hunting...

    I think my broc. managed to stay green because it was originally purple, otherwise I have no doubt it would have ended the same colour as yours :D

  18. I have the book, but have never made the recipe. Love the fairytale mushroom photo.

  19. Thank you so much Choclette.
    It took me a while to cook from it too.

  20. beautiful forest---truly enchanting, and I love your playful ways here with your dish.

  21. Thank you so much Nancy.
    It tasted pretty good too, thats the dish - not the animals. :)

  22. This has always been one of my favorite recipes from Molly's book, Mango. What fun your take on it is - and I think it's fun to play with your food!

  23. Thank you so much Barbara.
    So good to hear from you.


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