Recipe: Pan-roasted broccoli and cauliflower with toasted hazelnuts

Part of the locavore's Thanksgiving feast was broccoli

Part of the locavore's Thanksgiving feast was broccoli and cauliflower topped with hazelnuts, pictured here at Paumanok Vineyards in Aquebogue. (Nov. 3, 2009) (Credit: Newsday / Rebecca Cooney)

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A perfect side dish for the locavore Thanksgiving feast is pan-roasted broccoli and cauliflower, with ingredients from Friendly Farm in East Meadow

This recipe is designed so that you blanch the vegetables the day before; on Thanksgiving all you have to do is give them their final pan-roasting.

Ingredients:

1 small head cauliflower, about 11/2 pounds
1 large bunch (or 2 small bunches) broccoli, about 11/2 pounds
Salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup blanched (skinless) hazelnuts, lightly crushed
Pepper

Directions:

1. Remove and discard leaves from cauliflower and trim the end of the stem by about an inch. Cut head in half and then break it down by pulling apart the florets. Cut each floret in half crosswise, "flower" and stem. (The stems are as flavorful as the flowers.)

2. Trim the stem of the broccoli and then cut off the top 11/2 inches of the florets. Now cut the stalk into bite-sized pieces. If the broccoli is not extremely fresh, use a vegetable peeler to peel the stalk.

3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add at least 2 tablespoons salt. Add cauliflower and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. With a spider or large slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a large bowl of ice water and soak, changing the water, until the cauliflower is cold. Drain, pat dry and set aside. Using the same pot, repeat boiling, chilling, draining with broccoli. Store blanched vegetables in resealable plastic bags. Bring them to room temperature before proceeding with recipe.

3. Place oil and butter in a 14-inch skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted, add nuts and sauté until you begin to smell them and they just begin to turn golden. Add vegetables and turn heat to high. Do not stir continuously; letting the vegetables come in contact with the pan for a few minutes at a time will help them brown. Cook until vegetables are hot and have begun to pick up a little color. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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