Sauteed broccoli with garlic and oil is an Italian classic side loaded with garlic - at least in my family - and it’s delicious! So simple to make and it’s good hot, warm, or even cold. It’s a perfect side for your table that everyone will enjoy.
My aunt (Zia) Julia would make a big skillet of sauteed broccoli with garlic and oil and heavy on the garlic and olive oil. It was so good, I bet if President H.W. Bush tasted it, he probably would have switched his comment, “I do not like broccoli” to “I love broccoli”.
SLICE THE BROCCOLI IN SPEARS
You want to slice the broccoli in spears. This not only makes a nice presentation but also allows the garlic and crushed red pepper to get caught in all the nooks and crannies of the broccoli. The stems are good for you too.
I recommend peeling the stem of the large head of broccoli for a softer texture. You don't want tough stems.
HOW LONG TO COOK THE BROCCOLI
I’m a fan of broccoli being cooked until it’s olive green because that’s the way I had it growing up. I’m not a fan of the crunchy broccoli in a dish. If it’s raw and being used for dipping then that’s a different story. The dip coats it and for a second, makes you forget you’re eating rabbit food. Of course, there are exceptions to this but in this case, sauteed broccoli with garlic tastes better when the broccoli is cooked.
You can cook it for as long as you like. This recipe - actually recipes in general - are guidelines. You are the master of your kitchen. If it’s cooking and not baking, do what pleases you.
MORE DELICIOUS VEGETABLES TO ENJOY
Anyhow…my aunt would serve these spears of delicious broccoli with loads of garlic clinging to it. She wasn’t a fan of crushed red pepper so that’s where I added my spin. When she served the broccoli, it was limp and the color was an olive green. Again, some like it bright and stiff but in this case limp is better. Trust me, and get your mind out of the gutter.
I suggest using three to four cloves of garlic but of course, you can use as much as you want. You can slice the garlic to give this dish a milder garlic taste rather than a stronger one if using minced garlic. I prefer minced because I like the stronger flavor and how the garlic gets caught in the broccoli making each bite super delicious and garlicky. I also use four or more cloves making sure the vampires keep their distance.
The sauce is made from water and oil which usually don’t mix, but in this case they go well together. The water is used to steam and the oil adds richness and flavor. Keep the pot covered so the water doesn’t evaporate. We need it to create the “sauce”.
Don’t forget to add salt. I use diamond crystal kosher salt. Whatever you use, salt to your taste. This dish needs salt to taste good.
One more thing, if your broccoli has leaves on it, don’t waste them. Cook them. Add them to the skillet. They’re loaded with good stuff. So do the body good and eat them.
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QUICK SIMPLE SAUTEED BROCCOLI WITH GARLICPRINT PIN SAVESaved!
- Peel off any rough parts of stems. Cut the broccoli into spears.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Shake the pan gently to spread them out. Sauté until fragrant. I like to tip the skillet to collect the oil and "fry" the garlic and red pepper for a few seconds.
- Add the broccoli spears and a few good pinches of salt. Cover with a lid because it will splatter.
- Gently shake the pan, holding the lid as you do, to coat the broccoli and spread them out in the pan.
- Add the water and cover again, as it will steam. Gently shake again and lower the heat to medium low. Let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the broccoli is olive green and softened.