LuAnn adds, "I think cooking the broccoli SEVERAL DAYS AHEAD is completely unnecessary. Fresh is best! If you wish to serve the broccoli chilled, just cook it for 2 or 3 minutes, then plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking, which will also cool it quickly. Just mix up the sauce while cooking/chilling the broccoli. Both could easily be ready within 15 minutes. In fact, I'm going out to make some for Angel Cake for lunch right now!" LuAnn
As I suspected, I was able to both blanch and chill the broccoli AND make the sauce from beginning to end in less than 15 minutes!
I began by putting a saucepan with a couple of inches of water on the stove on the stove to come to a boil.
As the water heated, I prepared the broccoli crowns. Keeping an eye on the water, so as not to miss when it came to a boil, I began measuring all of the sauce ingredients, EXCEPT the cilantro, into a blender container. (Alternatively, it could be placed in a deep-sided bowl and blended with an immersion blender. I plan to do this next time.) If desired, add about 1 teaspoon (or less, its strong), of toasted/dark sesame oil.
When the water was boiling, I added the broccoli. During those couple of minutes, I blended the sauce, sans cilantro. When it was smooth, I added the very coarsely chopped cilantro and pulsed 2 or 3 times to mince the cilantro, then poured the completed sauce into a small serving bowl. if you want to use an immersion blender, which I will do next time).
I also ran a bowl of icy cold water in the sink.
After the broccoli had cooked for TWO MINUTES, I drained the hot water and plunged the broccoli immediately into the cold water. After a minute or two in the cold water, I drained the cooled broccoli and served it with the sauce. Those two minutes were enough to yield perfectly tender-crisp broccoli which was still a vibrant, deep green.
Total time: Less than 15 minutes! Almost took me more time to type up what I did than to actually DO IT! :)
After tasting my first bite of broccoli with this truly "Wonderful Peanut Sauce", I could describe my reaction in one word:
Really, I could eat this stuff with a spoon! The peanut flavor was unmistakable - no way to "mask" 1 cup of peanut butter (!), enhanced with an interesting play of salty, sweet, and spicy from the soy sauce, sugar and cayenne. Everything came together to make a delicious, distinctly Thai sauce. Since I thought the finished sauce was a little too runny/drippy using the full cup of water, I would suggest beginning with 1/2 cup of water and then adding more, as needed, to obtain the desired consistency.
It may have been the thin consistency, but it struck me that it would also make a DELICIOUS salad dressing! (See Cookbook/Archive)
1 large bunch broccoli (1 1/2 pounds), separated into florets, stems cut into spears
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
Pinch cayenne pepper
Bring large pot of water to boil.
Cook broccoli in water 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and tender.
Drain, and rinse under cold water to cool.
Shake, and pat dry.
To make peanut sauce:
Whisk peanut butter with 1 cup hot water in bowl.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Season with salt.
Place bowl in center of serving platter, and arrange broccoli around it.
Source: Vegetarian Times, January, 2008 (copyrighted recipe); edited slightly and posted by LuAnn for KRT.