Obsessions, Pt. 2

As anyone from school will tell you, broccoli is one of my favorite foods and probably the thing I eat the most of, pound per pound. I like it best raw or steamed in the microwave with Tabasco, but I've also come up with at least a half dozen go-to recipes for when I serve it to other people. So here is my recipe for broccoli with balsamic vinegar and caramelized onions.

This is ridiculously easy but beautiful in a serving dish on the dining table. The other night my dad cooked steaks to celebrate my sister's graduation and me being home for the summer, and I thought I would do something "special" for a side dish. The awful thing is, last summer I would do this every night. Now, I work 8 to 5 all week, and I'm just too tired slash I get home too late to get up the energy to cook for the whole fam. (Also, we have different eating habits; I don't eat very much meat or dairy any more, and they don't like the same things I like. Ok, in full disclosure, I like everything; they are less adventurous.)

Long story short, this cooks up in about fifteen minutes, and everybody likes it. I wish I had taken a picture, it is such a pretty dish... Oh, and I used brown sugar instead of granulated at first because we were out, but after tasting it I would use it again because it adds some richness to the otherwise pretty light recipe.

Broccoli with Balsamic Vinegar and Caramelized Onions

  • 1 or 2 heads broccoli, cut into equal sized chunks
  • 1 onion, quartered and cut into half moon slices
  • 1 tbl butter
  • 1 tbl brown sugar
  • 2-3 tbl balsamic vinegar
Steam broccoli with half a tbl of balsamic and 1 tbl water until about half-cooked and still bright green (microwave for two-three minutes depending on how much you have). Set aside.
Over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook, stirring, until they're nice and sweaty, then add brown sugar and leave them alone. Stir again as necessary but only as necessary to prevent them from burning; too much stirring and they won't caramelize.

When the onions are golden and just barely "charred" (I don't know how else to describe the little dark brown--not black--spots on the onions that add so much flavor), deglaze with balsamic. Add broccoli and cook until broccoli is fully cooked but not smooshy; it should retain its nice green color but take on a bit of brown or purple from the onions and balsamic.

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