I believe it started in 1975, when I visited Prince Edward Island with a number of colleagues, including Craig Claiborne of the New York Times. To eat we had only lobster and wild boar. After a week of this, everyone said, "Can we have some pasta?" I set out to make two dishes, one with vegetables, one Alfredo style. But in the end I mixed it all together, vegetables with spaghetti and cream. After Claiborne wrote about it in the Times, everybody started to come to Le Cirque and ask for spaghetti alla primavera. But my French chef said, "You want to do spaghetti? I don't want spaghetti in my kitchen!" I didn't want a crisis. So I decided to prepare it in the dining room, on a cart, tableside. It looked nice, and it tasted nice. We've never put it on the menu, but people still ask for it. —Sirio Maccioni, co-owner of Le Cirque restaurant in New York CityTodd Coleman
Broccoli is an often-maligned food, with too many people scarred by limp, insipid steamed broccoli as part of school lunch or family dinner. But with a little love, broccoli is absolutely a vegetable worth craving. From a simple stir-fry to steamed broccoli done right, we’ve rounded up our favorite broccoli recipes.
Steamed broccoli should never be mushy—the goal is to cook the vegetable just long enough to intensify the flavor and color without losing too much texture. The cooking should only take a couple of minutes. Once the broccoli is done, try tossing it with pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and champagne vinegar.
Beef and broccoli is a Chinese take-out classic. To make our version, flank steak is marinated with soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, sesame oil, and ginger. Broccoli florets can be added to the stir-fry raw, but if you want to cut down on the cooking time you can blanch them first.
Cheese and cream make everything better, and broccoli is no exception. Broccoli and cheddar is a particularly popular combination—they come together in an indulgent casserole with mushrooms and panko bread crumbs.
Check out these recipes and more in our collection of broccoli recipes.