The first time I ever tried this dish my husband (then boyfriend) made it for me. I had never made a vegetable puree (it was in my pre-kid/pre-baby food era) and I couldn’t believe how absolutely delicious it was! I decided to use my beautiful CSA broccoli, spinach, and kale for this version. We ate it as a side dish with grilled chicken, but it would be elegant with some sort of seared meat or fish placed on top of it on the plate. This recipe was adapted from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. I used shallots in lieu of onions, unpeeled yukon gold potatoes instead of a russet potato, and incorporated kale. Lovely!
- 4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 large shallots or 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium yukon gold potatoes (unpeeled) or 1 small russet potato (peeled), diced
- 1 large bunch of broccoli (2 pounds)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used 1/2 cup Wild Mushroom Stock and 1 cup chicken stock)
- 3 cups slivered spinach leaves (I used a combination of spinach and kale), well rinsed
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 T finely grated lemon zest
- Melt the butter over low heat in a large sauté pan (with a lid). Add celery, onion, and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 10 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the broccoli: Cut 1/4-inch off the bottom of the stem, and separate the stem from the head. Peel and then cut the stem into thin slices crosswise; quarter the slices.
- Reserve 1 cup of florets from the head of the broccoli. Chop the remainder of the head into small pieces.
- Add the chopped stems and head to the wilted vegetables, along with the stock. Cover, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, steam the broccoli florets with 1 T of water in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Add the spinach, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to the cooked vegetables, and cook for 1 minute.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Pulse in the lemon zest. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Transfer the puree to a warmed serving dish and garnish with the reserved broccoli florets. Serve immediately.
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