Sweet bell peppers, crunchy broccoli, garlic and a touch of cayenne are sautéed together to make this colorful side dish. And although there’s nothing complicated about this recipe, sautéing the bell peppers properly until they’re golden-brown is essential.
To achieve the proper results, you need two things: a non-stick skillet with a heavy-bottom so that the heat gets distributed evenly, and a light hand when it comes to handling the peppers. Tossing or stirring them too frequently will make them break apart and will not allow them to caramelize properly.
Last but not least, bell peppers are at their sweetest in the fall, when the cool night temperatures concentrate the vegetable’s natural sugars. It’s worth making a special trip to your farmers’ market – just-picked fall peppers will make this recipe even more tantalizing!
Sautéed broccoli with yellow and red bell peppers
active time: 30 min
- 1 tablespoon sea salt for blanching water
- 1 large bunch broccoli (1 1/2 lbs) (680 g) – florets cut in 1 1/2″ pieces (6 cups)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 2 medium red bell peppers – halved, seeded and cut lengthwise in 1/4″ strips
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper – halved, seeded and cut lengthwise in 1/4″ strips
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)
- 6 garlic cloves – skinned and very finely sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Step 1: In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Set aside. When the water is boiling, add the salt and broccoli. With the back of a spoon, push the broccoli down so that all the florets are submerged in the boiling water. Blanch for 2 minutes, the florets will turn bright green. Drain and transfer to the iced water bath. When the broccoli is totally cooled (this will take only a few seconds), drain and set on paper towels to remove any excess water.
- Cook’s note: The broccoli can be blanched up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate in a sealed container or plastic bag until ready to use.
- Step 2: Heat a large non-stick, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil and cayenne and stir well. Add the peppers and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes until the peppers are golden-brown, tossing only occasionally. If the peppers start cooking too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-high. Drizzle the vinegar over the peppers and shake the pan vigorously for a few seconds (The vinegar will evaporate almost instantly as the pan is quite hot by now). Add the garlic, toss well and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and sprinkle the salt over the vegetables. Sauté for 1 minute until the broccoli is warmed through, tossing constantly. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.