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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite ways to cook a 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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