On a crisp, cold evening, this savory skillet of potatoes, broccoli and leafy greens, lightly spiced with fresh herbs, a hint of lemon and that delightfully fragrant East Indian spice combo, garam masala, both comforts and delights the senses.
It’s true that we love it in the fall and winter, but even on a warm summer’s eve, we enjoy this simple, fresh, and taste-bud-popping, one-dish meal. We like to top it with a dollop or two of my all-purpose Basic Creamy Cheese Dip, but plain yogurt, especially homemade Greek-style yogurt, tastes good too. As we move closer and closer to a vegan lifestyle, I’m looking forward to trying this vegan sour cream from Celeste at The Whole Serving.
Is your family one that eats vegetables only when they’re wrapped and slathered in bacon? Shhh. (Looks furtively left and right.) I’ll let you in on a secret. They’ll love veggie skillet meals like this if you use uber-fresh vegetables and herbs, alive with color and texture, and cook them just long enough to bring them to tenderness, not so long they lose their color and turn mushy.
Here’s how to do this one, step-by-step, in pictures. Not that seasoned cooks will need the step-by-step, but that this is such a pretty dish to make. The vibrant colors and scents at each stage of cooking, the dance of cutting and chopping, adding and stirring, grabbing a quick taste along the way, well, I hope you can get a little of that in the photos.
Start with a medium onion, three to four cloves of garlic, three small freshly scrubbed potatoes, and about a pound of broccoli. You’ll need a bunch of freshly washed kale, too, a lime and some fresh herbs, such as parsley or the spicy yellow flower I got from the farmer’s market the other day. Can’t for the life of me remember what the farmer called it, so I’ll have to go back this week and ask her.
To a large skillet over medium flame, add one tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, heat almost to sizzling, careful not to let it smoke, and drop in half the chopped onion. Sweat the onion till nearly translucent, then add the garlic and sauté both over medium low flame until about half the onion is caramelized.
Add one tablespoon oil to pan, stir and add the potatoes.
After 2-3 minutes, cover skillet and cook over low heat while you prepare the broccoli, separating the florets and chopping the stems. Add the chopped stems to the potatoes immediately and cook, stirring occasionally while you trim and chop the kale.
Mmmmm. The potatoes and broccoli are almost fork tender. Don’t you just want to reach in and get a taste?
Add the chopped kale, salt, fresh squeezed lime juice and a few twists of freshly ground pepper. Stir and cover for 2-3 minutes, to give the kale time to loosen and wilt into the vegetables.
While the kale cooks down a bit, call the family to set the table. Dinner’s ready in about seven minutes. Stir in the broccoli florets and garam masala and cook over medium low heat while you snip a little fresh parsley or fragrant herb of your choosing and toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet.
If you’ve never toasted your own before, you may be surprised to learn how quick and easy it is to toast sesame seeds. Sprinkle the fresh herbs and about half the sesame seeds over the skillet and serve immediately.
Whether I’m serving from my enameled cookware or a plain cast iron skillet, I take the pan directly to the table. This dish makes a mighty pretty centerpiece, don’t you think? Garnish each plate with a few of fresh sprigs of herbs and bring the rest of the sesame seeds along, so folks can add more after dishing up their plates.
Of course you can change this umpteen ways, just by altering the vegetables or herbs a little. The important thing to remember is always to use the freshest, brightest vegetables in your bin. They’re the ones with the most flavor.
What do you think would be good in this dish?
♥ ♥ ♥
Dear Readers: If you’ve followed me from the now-defunct Squidoo to HubPages and now to YayYay’s Kitchen, you may remember a version of this recipe, which I first published on Squidoo in January 2014. In August 2014, HubPages, where I am known as ecogranny, bought Squidoo. I opted to have my Squidoo pages, including this recipe, transferred to the new site. Now, in February 2016, I’ve brought it home to YayYay’s Kitchen, revised to reflect the way we cook and enjoy it today.