French Fridays with Dorie – Garlicky Crumb-Dusted Broccoli Leaves

Broccoli leaves with garlic bread crumbs

Tonight, for a minute, I felt like a teenager.  I gazed adoringly… swooned… at this:


The breadcrumbs in this picture were ‘what was left’ after nestling the majority of the batch under, above, and between blanched broccoli leaves.  I ate them with a spoon before dinner.  From the second the lime zest hit the pan where the garlic, butter, and breadcrumbs where mingling, I knew this recipe would be special.  I just didn’t expect it to be ‘eat the breadcrumbs by themselves’ fantastic.  I even tweeted Dorie Greenspan in my elated state.  

Broccoli Leaves

Broccoli leaves fresh from the market… you are also the star of this dish! This is worse than having to choose was my favorite guy in Menudo/New Kids on the Block/first season of Next Iron Chef.

I intended to write about this week’s French Friday’s with Dorie experience focusing on the broccoli leaves.  What is not to love about broccoli greens?  The stem is thin and crunchy, the leaves wilt like the tenderest spinach, and it is full of all the great nutrients the florets also have.   They are definitely one of my favorite finds at the farmers’ market these days.  Since they are not as tough as the broccoli itself, I blanched them using the technique from the Pancetta Green Beans.
Homemade bread

For the breadcrumbs, I used some of the leftover bread I had made a couple of weeks.  I specifically saved up a piece to grind up to use for this recipe, and I’m so happy I did!  I toasted the pieces under the broiler and ground them in the food processor .  I ended up with a combination of textures, from extra fine to coarse that happily mingled with the garlic, butter, zest, and herbs.  And with the broccoli leaves too!

Another win!  I am having so much fun with these recipes, although I often find myself scrambling to finish them on time the night before.  The vanilla eclairs for next week will definitely not be Thursday night food!  Want to see how the rest of the Doristas did with their real broccoli florets?  Check out FFwD!

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

24 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie – Garlicky Crumb-Dusted Broccoli Leaves”

  1. Liz
    April 8, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Wow, what a fabulous variation!!! So bright and vibrant…and I know this was delicious!

  2. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    April 8, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Beautiful idea – I must try this myself! Your breadcrumbs look golden and crunchy and delicious!

  3. Annie
    April 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    I have never seen broccoli leaves before… I feel so stunted! LOL And truth be told I ate quite a few greedy spoonfuls of the crumbs myself! I like the idea of the lime too!

  4. yummychunklet
    April 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Your broccoli leaves look so green and vibrant! And what a great twist using the leaves! Yum!

    April 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    I loved this side dish… I think you can get a lot of veg haters to start liking broccoli if you serve them with these delicious bread crumbs! I like your spin on it, though… Broccoli leaves is something I have never thought to cook up… thanks for sharing!

  6. Patty
    April 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    wow, I’m loving the fresh bread crumbs and the broccoli leaves adaption to the recipe;-). Good job, I bet it was as delicious as it looks;-)

  7. Cher
    April 8, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Oh, I am lusting after that bread -it’s lovely. Love the idea of the broccoli leaves.

  8. Christina
    April 8, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    Your broccoli leaves are stunning. And now I want to put garlic-lemon breadcrumbs on everything!

  9. Elaine
    April 9, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    What a great idea to use the broccoli leaves! AND, you made your own breadcrumbs which I am sure made this even more delectable! So pretty and so inviting – it just makes me want to eat a bowl full!

  10. Monica (Ms. Hobby)
    April 9, 2011 at 2:01 am #

    Wow! I’ve never had broccoli leaves before, I’ll have to keep my eye out for these at the farmer’s market, you’ve made them sound fantastic. I love the twist you made with this dish.

  11. Betsy
    April 9, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    Looks scrumptious! I’ve never heard of broccoli leaves. I’ll have to look for them. You must be in Calirfornia. Our farmers market isn’t scheduled to open until mid-June. I’m jealous.

  12. Adriana
    April 9, 2011 at 2:28 am #

    I’m in and from Puerto Rico… and now that I think of it, I’ve seen more broccoli leaves than actual broccoli at the farmers market stands. I’ll have to ask about that. Thanks for all your great comments!

  13. Krissy
    April 9, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    Loved your post. I used to get those fresh leaves when we grew broccoli in our garden, but hard to find now. Totally like your crumbs…good for you to make your own. Nice photos.

  14. KarenP
    April 9, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    Like others, I’ve never seen broccoli leaves before. They look good – I wish I could find them here!

  15. Sarah
    April 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    I love the idea of using homemade bread! You pictures are amazing!

  16. Frolicking Night Owl
    April 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    That bread looks amazing. I love your photo of the broccoli leaves…very nice composition.

  17. Teresa
    April 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I’ve not had broccoli leaves – I’ll have to look for them at the farmers’ market. Your dish looks fantastic and the bread you used looks so delicious. Toasting it before grinding it in the food processor was a good idea. I think the crispness that would bring would really suit this dish. Great post!

  18. tricia s.
    April 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    OK, I will admit to feeling a little dumb that I didn’t even know about broccoli leaves before…but that is one of the reasons I so enjoy these French Fridays. I get to learn so much more than just how the recipe turned out. And I laughed when I read you tweeted Dorie- you MUST have loved this ! Nana and I did as well. This combo was a keeper big time and will be repeated on many occasions and with many veggies by both of us. And we agree about the eclairs getting done early this week. I am scared already.

  19. josefa
    April 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    nice improvising! sign of a great cook!

  20. Chef Pandita
    April 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Love your pics as usual 🙂 great idea with the broccoli leaves!

  21. Jen @ My Morning Chocolate
    April 9, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with broccoli leaves. Nice variation!

  22. Jill
    April 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Wow, I’ve never tried broccoli leaves before! Your crumbs and leaves look delicious!

  23. Spike
    April 11, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    the leaves look great! love the colors

  24. Cakelaw
    April 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    I want to eat your breadcrumbs too – they look amazing, and I am sure with homemade bread, they were.

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