The best meal of my life, crab bouillabaisse, was served with a warm side of steamed broccoli with beurre blanc. Um, it was not because of my self-dignity, it was more of my vague calorie consciousness that I did not drink the rest of this sauce in a sippy cup. If you happen to know someone who hates broccoli, try pouring this wonderful aromatic, buttery sauce over it. Since broccoli, I’ve also used it to top asparagus and brussels sprouts. I doubt you’ll find a vegetable you won’t love with this sauce poured over it.
Steamed Broccoli with Beurre Blanc
adapted from Jamie Oliver
1 cup good white wine
1 shallot or 1/2 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
A few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley and fresh tarragon
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns
2 heads of broccoli, broken into florets
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, sliced thin
freshly ground black pepper
Put your wine, shallot, herbs and peppercorns into a small pot and bring to a boil, then simmer slowly for 3 to 4 minutes or until reduced by half and remove from the heat. To make your beurre blanc, pour the flavored wine through a sieve into a metal bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of water on a very low heat, whisk, and add the cubes of butter one at a time, whisking them in until all the butter has been used. The sauce will emulsify and look like a very loose custard. Use the beurre blanc immediately or keep whisking it over your pan of water. If you leave it too long, the sauce may split.
Steam your broccoli florets until they’re soft, but not mushy. Taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning, if desired. Pour beurre blanc over broccoli.