1 pound broccoli, florets cut vertically through the stems—be sure and use the stalks, too!
2 Tb olive oil, plus 1 Tb butter
3 cloves garlic or more, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or water
Optional: a nice melting cheese, like Fontina or Robusto
1. Cut the broccoli (florets and stems) longitudinally so that the flat cut surface will be in direct contact with the pan. Don’t throw away the stems. If the base of the stem seems tough, peel off the exterior and then slice longitudinally as well.
2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the broccoli flat side down and sear until it's nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
3. Add the crushed red pepper and minced garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, about 45 seconds.
4. Add the stock or water, and then put the broccoli back in the pan cut side down with the other ingredients. Cover and simmer until the liquid has reduced a little, and the broccoli is fork tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Optional: Before covering, shred a favorite cheese over the broccoli and let it melt as the broccoli simmers.
Everyone, from finicky eaters to fancy food folks, will swoon if you grate some cheese over this simple yet elegant broccoli dish.