Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sauteed Broccolini and Wilted Red Mustard Frisee

Our CSA box has been sending big bags of red frisee mustard that has the color of red mustard, the shape of frisee, and an aroma reminiscent of a baked potato. I suspect they're supposed to be salad greens, but they taste incredible when quickly sauteed in a little bit of olive oil. Meanwhile, we got a bouquet of blossoming broccolini this week, which involves excessive amounts of alliteration (there was no way around it -- the only other option was to call it a big bunch of blooming broccolini, and that's even worse), but it was also excessively pretty and excessively tasty, so I decided to forgive it.

You can turn this into a quick and easy dinner by pairing it with some good bread and cheese. (For a quick picnic in front of my laptop one night last week, I layered avocado, sharp white cheddar, and chopped arugula on slices of walnut levain* from Village Bakery and sprinkled with a little black pepper...who says fast food can't be gourmet?)

*If you live in the Sacramento/Davis area, I suggest finding Village Bakery bread (Taylor's and the Co-op both carry it), buying the walnut levain and/or the seeded batard, going home, grabbing a knife out of the kitchen, locking yourself in a room after reassuring anyone present that you are not about to do anything drastic, and eating it. Seriously. Because you have not really had bread until you have had this bread.

Olive oil
Several big handfuls of red frisee mustard (or sub arugula)
1 bunch broccolini, stems sliced into 1 inch pieces and tops separated
1 clove garlic, pressed
Splash chicken or veggie broth
Squeeze Meyer lemon juice

Heat a little olive oil in a wide pan over medium heat. Add the mustard and saute for a minute, pressing the leaves gently against the pan and then turning them. Cover the pan and cook for a minute or until just wilted (arugula will cook even faster, so saute only until it just begins to wilt and remove from heat). Decant into a bowl and set near the stove to keep warm.

Add a little more olive oil to the pan, then toss in the broccolini stems and stir a few times. Push them to the side of the pan and add the garlic and a little more olive oil, so the garlic can simmer in the oil for a few moments. After about 10 seconds and before it browns, stir it in with the broccolini. Sprinkle with a little salt, saute for a minute or so more, then add the chicken broth and cover the pan, turning the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 2 minutes, then uncover, turn the heat back to medium, and add the broccolini tops. Saute for a minute more, then turn off the heat, sprinkle with lemon juice and pepper, and serve next to or over the red mustard frisee.

Serves 2 as a side dish.

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