Friday, February 1, 2013

The Enchanted Broccoli Forest

Berkeley-based chef Mollie Katzen wrote the classic vegetarian cookbook ‘The Enchanted Broccoli Forest’ in 1982. It offers not only some delicious, imaginative recipes, but also drawings and hand-lettering all done by Mollie. This whimsical, lavender-colored cookbook is named after one of her signature dishes, a delightful rice and broccoli creation. EBF is so beloved there’s even a Stanford University dorm named after it. I decided to simplify it when I realized I could order extra Chinese food take-out and repurpose it the next day in the recipe.

I ordered extra cartons of vegetarian fried rice and spicy garlic broccoli, then eliminated many of the steps and ingredients in the original recipe. The dish turned out wonderfully tasty and scrumptious, with everyone in the family eating it heartily. So try this by getting some extra take-out the next time you order Chinese food, or treat yourself to Mollie’s enchanting cookbook and try the original recipe.

The Simplified Enchanted Broccoli Forest
Adapted from a recipe in the cookbook ‘The Enchanted Broccoli Forest’

1 pint carton of Chinese broccoli takeout (I used spicy garlic broccoli)
1 quart carton of Chinese vegetarian fried rice takeout
3 T butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 eggs
1 ½ cups grated Swiss cheese

Saute chopped onion in butter in a saute pan over medium high heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 8 minutes).

Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl. Add the shredded cheese and combine. Add in the fried rice and stir well to combine. Add in the sauted onion to the mixture.

Butter a 10” x 6” baking pan or its equivalent in size. Spread the rice mixture evenly into the pan. Arrange the stalks of broccoli upright in the bed of rice mixture to create the enchanted forest.

Cover gently with foil and bake at 325 F degrees for 30 minutes.