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Broccoli with Feta and Fried Almonds

Serves Serves 4 to 6     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • about 6 cups of water
  • 1 pound of fresh broccoli crowns, trimmed and broken into similar-sized florets*
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 or 4 shakes of crushed red pepper (if guessing makes you nervous, start with 1/4 teaspoon. You can always add more.)
  • 1 tablespoon + 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • handful of dried cranberries, optional

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized pot, add water until it looks like you have about 6 cups, or measure it out if you want. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Put it on high, put a lid on, and bring it to a boil.
  2. While the water boils, trim and break apart the broccoli. Try to make them the same-ish size so that they cook evenly.
  3. Crush the garlic with the side of a chef's knife, then mince finely. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and mash it all together. (You can use a mortar and pestle for this, or a garlic press. Whatevs. Just get it mashed)
  4. Place the salted garlic in a small bowl, and then add the red wine vinegar. Add in a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes, and then let that mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the broccoli florets, cover it with a lid, and set a timer for 3 minutes. This is important! Do not cook longer than 3 minutes! They will get mushy and lackluster. Don't sneak a peek in the pot. Just set the timer.
  6. When the timer goes off, immediately pour the broccoli into a colander in the sink, and let cool a bit.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small heavy frying pan. Add the almonds, and fry until they are lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on them, they burn very quickly. Put the almonds on a paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle with a dash (or 4) of salt. Let almonds cool a few minutes.
  8. Whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil into the vinegar-garlic mixture. Stir together the broccoli, feta, and half the almonds in a mixing bowl; add cranberries if you are using them. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve salad while it is hot, with remaining almonds sprinkled over the top.

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