The other day I said I needed to take Smitten Kitchen Every Day back to the library before I make any more of her desserts but that the book is full of good sounding healthy recipes as well. I’ll share one to give you an example: Broccolini Melts.
She has something against tuna melts that I don’t understand but it sounded like a great idea to put broccolini on toast and cover it with cheese and broil it, whether or not you like tuna. I love broccolini and sausage with pasta. Then I added it to a pizza, which was also fantastic. This doesn’t have any sausage but I think it would be great if you added some cooked Italian sausage to it if you wanted something more substantial. But it was very satisfying without and made a nice lighter dinner after a fuller lunch.
This made me think about other vegetables that I like on pasta and pizza. Roasted cauliflower, for example. I think that would also make a great “melt” type sandwich. Really almost anything covered with melted cheese on good bread is bound to be good! I remember that one of my favorite cookbooks, Desperation Dinners has a chapter called “Food on Bread,” which expanded my ideas on what to put on bread.
I made a few minor changes based on what I had in the kitchen. I used white cheddar instead of the provolone she called for because that’s what I had. I used toasted English muffins rather than sliced bread because they’re more “melt-like” to me. I also used grated Parmesan instead of the Pecorino she called for because I can only keep so many cheeses around and Parmesan gets my vote for the most versatile. (I buy a chunk at Costco and it lasts me a good long time. I just grate it as I need it.)
You could make this with broccoli of course. Just peel the stalks a bit before cutting into chunks so they cook evenly.
- 1/2 pound broccolnii
- salt to taste
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano)
- 2 English muffins, split
- 4 slices cheese of your choice
- Cut the broccolini into 2 inch chunks and parboil 2 minutes in salted water. Drain, then chop into bite-sized pieces
- Wipe the pan dry, add the olive oil and heat a minute over medium heat, then add the garlic and pepper flakes. Stir until the garlic is golden. Don't let it darken. Add the broccolini and cook another 1-2 minutes, until just crisp tender. Lightly salt and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and grated cheese.
- Toast your English muffins and preheat your broiler. Put the toasted muffins on a small pan and top with the broccolini and the sliced cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted.