Cruciferous vegetables are the bomb. Also called “brassicas,” broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage, romanesco, Brussels sprouts, etc., are packed with immune-boosting phytochemicals. High in sulforaphane, studies show that cruciferous vegetables possess anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-depressive qualities.
Brassicas tend to blend well with bright, sharp flavors such as citrus. In the recipe below, lemon juice, oregano or marjoram, parsley, feta and kalamata olives all fill the role of lightening the flavors.
Broccoli with Peppers, Olives and Feta
- 1-1/2 pounds broccoli, florets and stems (peeled and cut into chunks)
- Sea salt
- Red pepper flakes
- 1 heaping teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1-2 tablespoons capers
- 3-4 tablespoons good, strong olive oil
- 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
- 12 kalamata olives, pits removed
- a few ounces feta, crumbled
- Red wine vinegar or lemon juice
Put It Together:
- Slice the broccoli crowns into florets. If you wish to use the stems, peel them with a paring knife, getting under the epidermis, then slice them into rounds or julienne strips.
- Steam the crowns and stems over boiling water until they’re bright green and tender-firm. Turn them into a shallow bowl and, while they’re still warm, season with several pinches of salt, a few pinches of red pepper flakes, and the herbs, then toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Add the capers, parsley, roasted pepper, olives and cheese and toss again.
- Taste and add more olive oil or salt if needed.
- Finally, add a few teaspoons of vinegar or a good squeeze of lemon juice to sharpen everything and make it sing.