I came up with this a few days ago, and I'm fairly pleased with the result. A rather unconventional use of tehina brings out the best of broccoli's (or cauliflower's) flavours and textures. The dish is best categorised as "fusion cuisine", although I can't decide which exact cuisines it actually fuses.


Ingredients (to serve 2 for a light meal, or 4, served with another dish):

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 medium-sized head fresh broccoli (or cauliflower) -- frozen florets will do, too
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or 1 tablespoon, if you like things hot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (or parsley, or whatever herb you fancy)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce ((optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (2, if omitting the soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon crude tehina, a.k.a. tahini (or half tehina and half smooth peanut butter) -- if you can't get the thick, crude paste, but only ready-to-eat tehina, diluted and spiced, you can probably use 3-4 tablespoons of that, and omit the lemon juice and spices
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 8-10 tablespoons flavourful vegetable oil to fry in -- try light (untoasted) sesame oil, or olive oil, or any good nut oil

Method:

First, cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets. You do this by grasping the main stem with one hand, and cutting away around it with a sharp knife (held in the other), or just by hacking off the main stem, and prying apart the bunched-up florets. This should detach the secondary stems from the main one you're holding. Depending on the size of the individual florets you now have, you may need to repeat the process with each of them (and perhaps again with the smaller bunches you obtain; mathematicians will appreciate the fractal nature of this endeavour). Chop the various bits of stem, so they too are conveniently bite-sized, and peel the dark outer "skin", if it does not appear tender (this peeling is unnecessary if you are substituting cauliflower).

In a bowl, or whatever, microwave the florets, bits of stem, and any leaves, for about 5 minutes, until tender but still crisp. If you don't own a microwave, try blanching the broccoli (in boiling water) for several minutes. Meanwhile, slice the onion into thick strips or rings.

In a wok or heavy pan, heat the oil until very hot. Stir fry the onion until it begins to colour, then toss in the microwaved broccoli. Maintain very high heat and continue to stir fry, until much of the broccoli is seared brown in places.

Sprinkle the pepper, soy sauce (if used), salt, and cilantro (or other herb), and stir to distribute. Add the tehina and stir vigorously for a minute or so. It will first melt, then begin to stick; some of it may adhere to the pan and brown. Pour in the lemon juice, and stir one last time.

Serve solo, or on fresh greens, with any remaining liquid and scrapings drizzled on top.

A haggai original recipe

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