Jim Dixon wrote about food for Willamette Week for more than 20 years, but these days most of his time is spent at his olive oil-focused specialty food business, Wellspent Market. Jim’s always loved to eat, and he encourages his customers to cook by sending them recipes every week through his newsletter. We’re happy to have him back creating some special dishes just for WW readers.
This simple recipe could be just the thing, if you need to whip up a last minute side dish for the holidays.
You won’t find any lightly steamed broccoli in Italy. It was first grown there more than 2,000 years ago, and the Italians like it cooked until tender and delicious. The raisins and vinegar create the sweet and sour flavor the Italians call agrodolce.
Sicilian-Style Smothered Broccoli
2-3 medium stalks of broccoli
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 anchovies fillets, chopped*
1/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons RGF extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon double concentrated tomato paste
1/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup red wine, preferably Sicilian like Nero D’Avola
RGF kosher salt and freshly ground black Ashanti pepper to taste
*You can leave these out or substitute a splash of fish sauce.
Cut the broccoli lengthwise into thinner stalks with a flowerlet at the top. They’ll be different lengths, and that’s fine. Cook the garlic in the olive oil with some salt and pepper for a minute, being careful not to let it get too brown. Stir in the anchovies, olives, tomato paste, raisins, and wine, then add broccoli. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.