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Creamy Dreamy Broccoli Crowns

Written By Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Denicole On December 16, 2013

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We could go and on and on about holiday side dishes. How they accessorize and complement a big juicy bird, or succulent, smoky ham, provide the excitement and wonder of presenting something deliciously unexpected – or dress an old holiday fave in some new and fabulous way. 

This easy dish calls for super food broccoli, lightly steamed to retain a bit of crunch and glorious green hue, then anointed with a reduction of heavy cream and Dijon mustard. Just two everyday ingredients turn your thoughts on broccoli upside-down. We’re topping it off with caramelized garlic and a squeeze of Meyer lemon. Serve it up on a large platter with room for several second helpings: a new buffet beauty queen has been crowned.

Creamy Dreamy Broccoli Crowns

Serves 8

  • 12 broccoli crowns 
  • Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Country Dijon mustard, or more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • Several cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Meyer lemon wedges, for garnish

Rinse broccoli and trim stalks. Fill a large soup pot with about an inch of water and place broccoli over high heat on a vegetable steamer; season with salt and pepper. Bring water to a boil and steaming broccoli just until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. (Broccoli will continue to soften a little after removed from steamer.)

Place cream and mustard in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Keep warm until serving.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium skillet. When oil is shimmering, add garlic, tossing to brown evenly. When garlic is golden and crisp, drain on paper towels. Reserve until serving (garlic can be cooked in advance.)

To serve, mound broccoli on a large serving platter, drizzle with sauce and top with caramelized garlic. Scatter edges of platter with lemon wedges and serve hot.

Diva Confession: Use this quick-and-easy sauce on just about anything. Try with lightly sautéed fish, such as sole or tilapia or on poached chicken. Drizzle over steamed spinach or cauliflower, or use as a fondue (add brie cheese if desired) with cubed baguette and granny smith apple wedges. And use crispy fried garlic to enliven soups and to jazz up holiday smashed potatoes. Fry up a big batch and keep in the fridge in a bit of olive oil. 

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