Most Indian meals comprise a medley of vegetable dishes ranging from mixed vegetable curries to simple stir-fried dishes. Fish and meat are usually served as a side item, and often, they aren’t missed at all. During Lent, when I sometimes crave a little meat or fish, it is vegetables with distinct textures, such as fibrous plantains, nutty tubers, or dense elephant yam that stand in for the “meaty” substance to a meal.
It is a good a time to eat more vegetables: Local farmers are growing vegetables that were once deemed exotic, and grocery stores are offering creative plant and soy-based substitutes for meat. “Vegetable butchers,” at food markets like Eataly in New York, give basic lessons on cooking this new produce; you can ask for tips on how to cut artichokes or how to finely slice jicama in order to add it to your existing salad repertoire. Vegetables are even tossed with spice rubs and marinades, and cooked like meat on the barbecue grill.
I was inspired to try the marinade on broccoli (one of my least favorite vegetables), as it is in season and packed with vitamin C. The spiced and roasted broccoli “steaks” were caramelized by the seasonings and flavorful – and the result was (almost) as good as ribeye!
Broccoli – 1 bunch
Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
Hoisin sauce – 1 tbsp
Rice vinegar – ½ tbsp
Hot sauce – ¼ tbsp
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF
- Mix all sauces (soy, hoisin, hot sauce, and rice vinegar) together.
- Trim the bottom of the stem and discard leaves.
- Slice along the entire length of the broccoli stem and floret. This cut gives broccoli the “steak” texture when cooked.
- Place sliced broccoli on an aluminum foil, spreading them out evenly.
- Roast for 25 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time.
- Serve hot broccoli immediately.