Broccoli Purée With Lemon-Garlic Breadcrumbs

Serves 4
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Adapted from the More from ACE Bakery cookbook

Broccoli can be boiled, steamed, and roasted. It can be served hot, tossed with lemon butter, or cold in a salad, but my favourite way to prepare broccoli is as a purée. You can make it up to a day ahead if you have followed the method for retaining its colour. Reheat it over a bain marie until very warm or in the microwave.


2 tsp. (10 mL) olive oil
2 to 3 slices of fresh white bread ground into coarse breadcrumbs (see Cook’s Tip)
zest of ⅓ lemon in long strands
2 large bunches broccoli
juice of ½ lemon
¼ tsp. (1.2 mL) grated garlic
6 to 8 Tbsp. (90 to 120 mL) extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste


Heat oil in a frying pan for 1 minute over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss in lemon zest.

Steam the broccoli until just cooked, about 4 to 5 minutes, and immediately plunge into cold water to retain the colour. When the broccoli is cool, drain, and pat very dry. Remove as much moisture as possible.

Purée the broccoli with half the lemon juice, the garlic, and 4 Tbsp. (60 mL) olive oil.

Slowly add more olive oil to reach a smooth consistency. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice if desired.
Top with toasted breadcrumbs and serve.

Cook’s Tip
Breadcrumbs are a staple in my kitchen. I take my fresh or stale bread, whirl it in the food processor, bag the crumbs, and freeze them until needed. Fresh bread should not be pulverized as long as stale bread or it will become gummy—fresh bread crumbs are larger and more irregular than their stale bread cousins.

Linda Haynes is the co-founder of ACE Bakery and the award-winning author of the bestseller, "The ACE Bakery Cookbook". All royalties from this cookbook are given to organizations in support of food and nutrition programs that assist low-income members of the community, to culinary scholarships, and to organic farming initiatives. Royalties from "More from ACE Bakery" cookbook are donated to organizations that work with women and children in crisis.

Established in 1993, ACE Bakery is now one of North America's leading artisan bakeries, providing fresh and partially baked breads to customers across Canada, New York State, the Midwest and Northeast U.S.A., Louisiana and the Bahamas, as well as on Air Canada and Air France flights.

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