Thirty Minute Thursdays: Pure & Simple Broccoli & Red Pepper Saute

I crave vegetables. Yes, I also crave chocolate and macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (not all together) like other normal people, but I really do get cravings for large servings of vegetables. Everyone around me thinks I’m totally nuts. There are some nights for dinner when I’m perfectly content with a mountain of lightly sautéed mixed veggies. It usually comes after a prolonged period of eating meat more frequently than I usually prefer.

When I crave vegetables, I don’t crave casseroles where cheese and noodles drown out the glory of the various plant foods I also add in. When I crave vegetables, I crave vegetables. I want spinach that tastes like spinach, mushrooms that taste like mushrooms, and sweet potatoes that haven’t been deep fried into oblivion. I do get separate cravings for that last food, but that’s a different story altogether.

The recipe that I have for you today delivers on the vegetables. In fact, it’s so purely vegetable-y that it almost doesn’t feel like a recipe at all. Could something so simple possibly be worthy of its own post? In this case, absolutely. Its simplicity is what makes it work. There’s no sugar-coating this one, no beating around the bush – this recipe produces a side dish that tastes like broccoli and red peppers, straight up. No fancy sauces, no crazy spices that you’ve never heard of before, and no gosh-darn cheese to make you forget the vegetables are there. If you like broccoli and red peppers, you will like this dish. If you’re dying for a simple, refreshing recipe as the days seem to get hotter and hotter, you will like this dish.

If the only way you like your vegetables is pureed into tomato sauce or cut into matchsticks and deep fried so you can pretend they don’t exist, you will not like this dish. I’m sorry. I’ll be sure to write about something for you folks later on. But for now, I’m all about veggie love, and I hope you are, too.

One Year Ago: Hummus Chicken Salad

Broccoli & Red Pepper Saute
This recipe celebrates the delicious flavors naturally found in broccoli and red peppers, as they are cooked just minimally and as simply as possible to keep the side dish as purely simple as possible.

Yield: 2-4 servings1
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
(printable recipe)

The Ingredients
1 pound broccoli florets
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

The Method
Add 1-inch of water to a skillet over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Place the broccoli florets into the pan and cover, allowing to simmer for approximately 3 minutes. Promptly drain the broccoli and set aside. Return the skillet to the burner and drizzle the olive oil into it to heat. Add the sliced peppers and sauté for 2-3 minutes before stirring the broccoli back in. Toss until the vegetables are combined, season with pepper, and serve.

Source, adapted: Rachael Ray's Classic 30 Minute Meals

1This all depends on how much of a veggie-lover you are and what else you plan to serve with this dish. The original recipe says that it’s 4 servings, but I can see myself at times eating more than my share.

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