Riced broccoli is a quick and easy way to enjoy this healthy cruciferous vegetable. Add it plain to other dishes like stir fries and grain bowls, or follow the instructions below for a delightfully fresh and flavorful Lemon-Garlic Broccoli Rice. Vegan and allergy-friendly, with an oil-free option.
To "rice" the broccoli, trim off thick ends and discard any leaves or woody looking parts of the stem. Cut the broccoli into equal-size florets, and cut the thick stems into coins.
Place in a large food processor (I use a 14-cup Cuisinart) or a blender. You may want to do this in two batches. (If you don't have a food processor or blender, use a large knife to finely chop the broccoli into "rice.") Pulse the food processor or blender until the broccoli is evenly broken down into bits about the size of rice. For me this usually takes about 12 pulses.
At this point you can use the riced broccoli in other dishes, like stir fries or veggie sautes. Or follow the next steps for seasoned broccoli rice that's flavorful and ready to eat.
Preheat a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the oil, if using, and the garlic. To saute without oil, add a few splashes of vegetable broth (make sure all broth has evaporated before you add the broccoli to the pan). Stir frequently and cook the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the riced broccoli to the pan and stir to distribute the garlic flavor. Zest about half of a lemon, or a little less, into the pan and stir to combine. Stirring frequently, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green.
Squeeze 1 tablespoon of lemon juice onto the broccoli. Stir well and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, and lemon if desired. Serve immediately.
Top tip:Don't overcook broccoli rice. Just a couple of minutes of sautéing is all you need to reduce the natural sulfur aroma and enhance the color. The broccoli retains a really nice crispness and texture this way and won't become soft or mushy.Storage:Once the broccoli has been riced I like to either use it right away or freeze it for later. But it will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.If you ever happen to have too much broccoli on hand and know you won't be able to use it before it goes bad, ricing it is a great idea. Then place in an airtight, freezer bag or container. Note: nutrition info includes the seasoned preparation, with oil, lemon, salt, etc.