Broccoli and Plantain

Broccoli and Plantain are secret besties.  Nobody knows it, but this side dish will confirm to you that the rumor is true.  And it doesn’t take much beyond the two to make magic for your mouth: sweet, soft, crunchy, green, perfectly paired.  Either as a side to a more substantial protein or grain-based dish, or as a main for breakfast (yes, broccoli for breakfast – it works) or lunch, let these two unlikely friends show you just how good they go together.

Yield: 2 servings as a side or 1 substantial main-course serving (for me…)

What you need:

  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • a healthy pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon seed & spice blend (you can find the recipe for that here)
  • 1 large wedge of lemon or lime

What you do:

  1. Set up some kind of steaming apparatus.  While the steaming water comes to a boil, peel the plantain and quarter it lengthwise.  Cut the quarters into 3/4″ chunks.  At this point, the water should be boiling.  Put the plantain in the steaming basket and let steam until soft, bright yellow, and very sweet.  Time will vary depending on how ripe the plantain is, but if you’ve got a ripe (mostly black) one on your hands, it’ll be 8-10 minutes.  Transfer the cooked plantain to a mixing bowl and let cool.
  2. While the plantain steams, heat a cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat.  It should be large enough to fit the broccoli in a single layer (8″ worked for me).  When hot, add the broccoli and a healthy pinch of salt sprinkled overtop.  Let it get charred a bit, toss.  Char a bit more, toss. (About a minute or two will have elapsed at this point.)  Add a couple of tablespoons of water and cover tightly.  Let the broccoli steam a couple of minutes, uncover and toss, cover again.  Test for doneness, either letting things steam a little longer – adding a tiny bit more water if necessary – or char a bit more, depending on your preference.  Transfer the broccoli to the bowl with the plantain.
  3. Drizzle the oil over the cooked couple, add the seed & spice mix and squeeze the lime or lemon wedge overtop to get all the juice in there.  Toss to combine.
  4. Serve.

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