If you're looking for a spectacular and simple green side dish, you can stop here. Broccoli and asparagus are sautéed in ghee and olive oil until crisp tender and the edges are golden brown and caramelized. The supporting cast of flavors: fried capers, lemon zest and juice, and toasted hazelnuts. When capers are pan-fried in oil or butter, they lose their briny flavor in exchange for a tart-nuttiness. One that will make caper-skeptics seriously reconsider.
This is an easy and satisfying dish that transforms everyday greens into a magical experience. One where you'll stop multi-tasking to just eat. Which is exactly my intention.
Two of my greatest passions in my work as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach is helping people 1) create a sustainable framework for cooking good food and 2) learn how to carve out quiet space in their day to, among other things, enjoy that food.
My clients discover how to authentically prioritize their health and well-being in the midst of their full lives. I witness how the simple act of pausing for meals leads to many other positive, wellness-affirming choices in their busy days. But deciding how and why to carve out quiet space can be challenging for them (and all of us!) at first.
That's why making expressive, vibrant food like this saute is so important. It gets us in the door, excitedly anticipating mealtime and eventually, motivated to carve out space for it. In today's diet culture we pay attention to what we eat, not how we eat. But integrative nutrition and the science of the mind-body connection shows that we can't make good food and expect to enjoy it or benefit from it unless we also carve out quiet space for and prioritize the eating experience.
A Vibrant Broccoli & Asparagus Sauté
Serves 2-4 (depending on use)
- 1 Tbsp ghee, divided
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided (plus more to finish)
- 1/4 cup (70 gr.) capers, rinsed, drained, and patted dry with paper towel
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled but kept whole
- 1 medium head of broccoli
- 1 (250 gr.) bunch asparagus
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Zest + juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup (70 gr) toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- Prep broccoli and asparagus. Cut broccoli head into small florets and tender stem into thin half moon slices. Snap woody ends away from asparagus. Slice asparagus on a diagonal into 1" (2.5 cm) pieces.
- Add half the ghee and half the olive oil to a large saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add capers and whole garlic cloves to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Remove capers to a small bowl and set aside. Leave garlic in the pan.
- Add remaining half of ghee and olive oil to garlic in pan. Stir in chopped broccoli and asparagus and a generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook 10-15 over medium to medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until crisp tender, bright green and caramelized around the edges and garlic is soft and lightly golden in color.
- Finely dice garlic and transfer to a medium serving bowl with cooked greens and fried capers. Add zest and juice of lemon, another drizzle of olive oil, and toasted hazelnuts. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine and serve warm.