Sunday, June 12, 2016

The politics of broccoli ...

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” George H. W. Bush

Remember that quote?

Seriously, #41 ... you should never have dissed the glories of broccoli.

"Let's put broccoli in the White House again."

Broccoli lovers everywhere believe that Hillary Clinton hit on something with that sign in 1992. After all, her husband, #42 ended your presidency.

Ten years later, your own son #43 feebly attempted to defend the family honor by flashing a thumbs down on broccoli. He had to think fast and instead tossed cauliflower under the bus when he remembered that his host Mexican President Vincente Fox was a broccoli farmer.

Finally, broccoli has found real love from #44 with President Obama claiming broccoli as his favorite vegetable. Coming full circle, he's endorsed fellow broccoli lover Hillary Clinton. Her position on the beautiful Brassica oleracea well known since her days campaigning back in '92. A detail not unnoticed by California where broccoli farmers are an important constituency and let's face it, she did pull off a primary win there recently.

One cup of broccoli has just 31 calories, zero fat, 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber, an excellent source of vitamins A and C. It's has been reported to decrease the risk of many cancers, and has been shown to prevent stroke, and minimize risk for cataracts. But how to eat it?

Well, here's an idea I think you'll really go for when you want to try a meatless and satisfying meal.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
½ cup whole raw almonds
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pepper to taste
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. thin linguine


Boil broccoli until tender, about 4 minutes in a large pot of salted water. Remove broccoli and save water to cook pasta. Save a few florets for garnish before you put the broccoli, almonds, basil leaves, parsley and salt into a food processor. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of oil, and pulse to make a coarse pesto.

Start cooking the pasta in the broccoli water. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter in a large skillet. Add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Once the garlic starts sizzling, scrape in the pesto. Cook and stir a few minutes. Add 1 cup of pasta water. Simmer 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. When pasta is al dente use tongs to add linguine directly to sauce. Toss gently. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in Parmesan, garnish, and serve.


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