Mini Trees

I grew up with parents who asked that I eat everything on my plate. That included steamed, mushy yellow squash (I still reflexively gag when I think about it), steamed Brussels sprouts (I only do roasted sprouts, thank you), and limp broccoli. I’d have to close my eyes, and after much protestation, I’d cry and eat my vegetables.

My parents were actually incredible cooks. I’m not trying to undersell them here. My birthday request was always Kung Pao chicken, Greek salads were a weekend treat, we ate tandoori chicken on the regular, my dad made a mean ramen, and my mom was the master of the oven (you name it, she can bake it, and it’s the best version of it you’ve most likely ever had).
But when it came to vegetables, everything was boiled or steamed to a depressing stage of wilt.

In my adult years, and with much practice in many restaurants and in home kitchens, I know exactly how I like each veggie cooked. Brussel sprouts- pan roasted, butternut squash-oven roasted, and broccoli… So many ways to cook this beautiful vegetable, but let’s start with this one technique.

I adore broccoli that’s cooked to just fork tender, salted and tossed in butter. Now that we know butter is one of the essential healthy fats we should be eating, don’t skimp on the butter! It makes this gorgeous vegetable sexy.
Any time I cook broccoli for anyone, someone always asks, “what did you do to make this broccoli so good?!”

Butter. Salt. And I don’t over cook it!

So whether you’re trying to get your kids to eat cute “little trees” of you’re cooking for the grown ups, here’s a how-to on how to make the yummiest buttered broccoli of your life.

My word of advice that I can’t stress enough is to not cook the broccoli for very long. It will continue to cook after you pull it out of the water, so it’s best to err on the side of less cooked than too cooked. Practice will make perfect and you too can soon be eating healthy vegetables dressed in healthy butter.

Molly shares her story of getting the kids fed and how to keep the little tigers occupied at the super markets. She shares her tips at http://www.bluebonnetbabies.com. Check out our stories and share your pictures, feedback and thoughts at #thedinnerdance and #tiptuesday. We look forward to hearing from you!

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