BROCCOLI WITH LEMON ALMOND BUTTER (Karen Sterzik's)

1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 T. or 2 oz.), brought to room temperature
1/3 c. sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 t. finely minced lemon zest
1 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 t. salt, plus additional for salting the cooking water
6 c. broccoli florets (about 1 head of broccoli)

Toast the almonds. They may be toasted in the oven or on the stovetop. To toast in the oven, spread the nuts in a single layer on baking sheet in a 350° oven and toast for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally til they are light golden brown. To toast on the stovetop, place the nuts in a dry sauté pan large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, til they begin to color. Remove from the heat, then immediately remove from the hot pan to stop the browning process. Mix together the butter, almonds, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/2 t. of the salt in a medium mixing bowl; set aside til needed. Cut the broccoli into uniform pieces; trim off any tough ends. Blanch the broccoli in boiling, salted water til crisp tender (about 2 minutes). The broccoli can also be cooked in the microwave. Place the florets in a large glass bowl or microwave-safe dish. Add 1/4 c. water and cover the bowl, either with plastic wrap or a tight fitting lid. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the microwave and carefully remove the lid (use extreme caution to avoid the steam). Drain the broccoli and place in a mixing bowl. Add the lemon-almond butter and toss, melting the butter and thoroughly coating the broccoli. Taste and correct the seasoning as needed with additional lemon juice and salt.
(serves 8)

Broccoli With Lemon Almond Butter recipe from the May, 2007, Menu Minder.


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