Thursday, February 17, 2011

it's all about broccoli today

I may be dreaming here, but broccoli was planted this morning. Even though the moon is under the sign of Leo, dry and fiery, I decided to risk it because I hope to benefit from the energy of the growing moon. There's an old saying, "plants grown above ground should be planted during a waxing moon and plants grown underground should be planted during the waning moon" that about says it all.

I am trying two varieties of broccoli in each of two large 4-packs that are color-coded so I can see which does what, and when. And each 4-pack is also being trialed -- one will stay in the house to germinate and one goes into the cold-frame outside. A little experiment.

I do things a little differently. First I fill the 4-pack with organic seed-starting mix, then water it until I feel some weight, then sprinkle the seeds, cover with a thin layer of mix . . .

       . . . and mist that top layer with a spray bottle until it's nice and shiny.

                    Color-coded the 4-packs, in this case the green cells are De Cicco and
the others are Calabrese. I expect quite a few plants out of these, too many for us alone.

        One went into the cold-frame along with some experimental basil in the other 4-pack. Oh, I know it's unlikely basil will germinate anytime soon, but I wanted to give it a whirl.

                     This is spinach planted last fall. It has survived extreme temperatures at or below zero and is now looking like it's ready to grow.

                               At 9:30 this morning, the automatic vent had already opened.

   The other 4-pack will be on a window sill in the house, I'm not going to go baby it by setting it on the water heater or anything like that. I'll track germination dates for both 4-packs as well as the different varieties. I'll need a new journal for this now,
 won't I? The broccoli up there is for dinner tonight.

We get tired of steamed broccoli every week so I was happy to come across this old recipe recently. It's from March 6, 2001, and is from a person named Lisa. Thank you, Lisa. It's healthy, easy, and tastes good. What more could a person ask for?

Lisa's Roasted Broccoli

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. On a foil-lined sheet pan, spread broccoli flowerets in a single layer. Drizzle a good olive oil over the broccoli and use your hands or tongs to make sure it's all lightly-coated and back to a single layer again. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Roast for nine minutes -- but every oven is different so keep an eye on it. Nine minutes works perfectly in mine. You can sprinkle red chili pepper flakes on it or a little soy sauce (after cooking). It's a good one to play around with.

Anybody have any good & easy ways to make broccoli?

Also posted at Food Renegade.

6 comments:

helen said...

I've roasted cauliflower also and it is wonderful, almost sweet and nutty. You could almost probably direct seed the broccoli in the ground in Denver. I always put mine in early cause it's a cold weather crop and the less heat the sweeter less bitter the broccoli I harvested some of my best tasting broccoli in December one mild winter here in michigan.

woman with wings said...

Helen, I'll have to try cauliflower -- yum! I find, too, if the broccoli's early, then we don't have to deal with little green caterpillars. This is my first year having the cold frame, so I'm basically just playin' around with it. I mean, really, it's probably so silly to even try basil in there, who am I kidding?

deb g said...

Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite ways to cook a vegetable...so good. Especially with a sprinkle of parmesean cheese. Both types of broccoli that you planted are good ones. Hoping to plant peas, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, a few other things in the next couple weeks.

woman with wings said...

Deb -- yes, parmesan, too! Am going to roast cauliflower next time! You're a little ahead of us up there in the Pacific NW -- the earliest we even try for peas is St. Pat's Day but I sprinkled lettuce seed in the coldframe yesterday. You'd think it was a big old greenhouse the way I keep talking about it. Ha.

Marie said...

Thank you for the gardening inspiration.
I have a Georgia O'keefe cookbook that
should have been in the kitchen but, disappeared
and once it returns; I think there might be a recipe
a recipe in it. I will share the recipe when I find it.

woman with wings said...

Marie, you're welcome and I'd love to get the recipe -- I bet that cookbook has gorgeous photos in it. . .