Some vegetables are definitely sexier than others. Asparagus has to be the sexiest vegetable ever (and not just because it is divine dipped in hollandaise sauce, or melted butter, or aioli..). Aubergine isn't far behind. At the other end of the scale you have Brussel sprouts and boiled cabbage, guaranteed to remind you of school dinner purgatory (if you are my age or thereabouts, that is. I understand that current school-leavers are more likely to remember turkey twizzlers or potatoes in the shape of dinosaurs). Broccoli (calabrese) is probably nearer cabbage than asparagus on the scale of sexy, trendy vegetables. It isn't hated as much as sprouts, but nor is it craved; you don't see it much on restaurant menus (unlike its upmarket sibling, purple-sprouting broccoli); it is just a bit boring, really, which is a shame because it packs such a nutritional punch. I happen to like it, as long as it isn't cooked to death - mushy broccoli is a crime against food.
Tonight I made another dent into my freezer-store of fish by cooking Bill Granger's caramel salmon with rice, to go with Jamie's steamed broccoli with soy and ginger, which sounds so healthy as to be saintly (ginger, in my view, being a great immune-booster; this does not mean to say that it is) and yet tasty too. For the fish, first, I simply briefly pan-fried cubes of salmon, and made a sauce with red onion, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and fish sauce. For Jamie's dish, which is meant to be my focus here, I dry-roasted sesame seeds and fried some slices of garlic, laying aside while making a sauce with lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger.
The broccoli was delicious; the soy sauce, ginger, sesame, garlic and lime lifted the broccoli from its usual position as boring side-dish and gave it real 'zing', to borrow Jamie's description. This is definitely one to make again if you like Asian dishes, which I do, or even to go with a simple meat dish.
The fish was also lovely - simple but very tasty indeed. Mmm. A very good Tuesday night dinner, that even sounds healthy (steamed broccoli with oily fish...) but is really incredibly flavoursome. I'm still licking my lips...