Well Being

Brunch-Off: Broccoli Breakfast Tostadas And Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata

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This week is our twelfth Brunch-Off! We hope you’re enjoying our column devoted to brunch recipes as much as we are. In a bid to get more people cooking seasonally, we’re featuring seasonal brunch and breakfast recipes each Saturday morning. The twist? We ask two food bloggers to give us their own brunch recipes featuring the same predetermined seasonal ingredient for a friendly competition. (We’d love to hear your ideas, too!)

It seems like you either love or hate broccoli. The good-for-you green tree-like veggie is as polarizing a dinner side as you'd ever want to see, hated by preschoolers and presidents alike. But no more! Food bloggers Meg of Beard & Bonnet and Annelise of The Food Poet have shown us some snazzy ways to cook broccoli—for brunch!

Annelise of The Food Poet came up with a beautiful breakfast tostada to show off broccoli, in season right now. Here's what she had to say about her recipe:

Let’s face it, when people talk about brunch it’s easy to get stuck in the egg rut.
Don’t get me wrong, eggy breakfasts and brunches are some of my favorite repasts,
but sometimes we need to think outside of the shell… eggshell that is. These
Broccoli Breakfast Tostadas do just that. They re-envision a not-so common brunch
ingredient of broccoli into a tostada meal that is festive and flavorful. You will find
their specific charms work their way into familiar food, giving them oomph. Plus,
you will learn how to make your own tostadas (perfect any time of day) and how to
make your own bean dip (also perfect leftover for dipping chips or carrots at snack
time). I like my ingredients to work hard so I don’t have to. Brunch should be easy
like Sunday morning.

P2-Broccoli-Breakfast-Tostadas-The-Food-Poet-Annelies-Zijderveld (1)


If the list of ingredients and instructions overwhelm you, don’t be. Most of it can be
done the day before. Make your tostadas and bean dip on Saturday and then Sunday
morning pre-brunch, focus on roasting up your broccoli bits and assembling. Easy!
Some of the spices or condiments may sound exotic, but rest assured these can be
ordered online or picked up at a Middle Eastern grocery (labneh, Aleppo pepper,
sumac) or at an Asian grocery (sambal oelek). If you need to substitute, you can swap
in sour cream for the labneh and sriracha for the sambal oelek. No good substitutions
for Aleppo pepper and sumac exist, and they are good additions to your spice rack.

Broccoli Breakfast Tostadas

YIELD: 4 tostadas

• 4 organic or non-GMO corn tortillas

Roasted Broccoli Bits
2 crowns of broccoli, broken down into florets only
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
zest of ½ lemon
pinch of salt

Spiced Bean Spread
1 can Canellini Beans, drained
½ teaspoon olive oil
Zest of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice plus ½ teaspoon
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
¼ teaspoon sumac
pinch of kosher salt

1 Watermelon radish, julienned
1 tablespoon sambal oelek stirred with 2 teaspoons white vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place corn tortillas onto a roasting pan or cookie sheet. Set aside.
3. Start piecing apart the broccoli crowns, breaking them down into florets
only. Cut off the stems and quarter the larger florets. You can keep the
smaller florets intact, but want to try to get them all around the same size.
Place in medium sized bowl. Set aside.
4. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over low heat. Add in the smashed garlic and let
it cook for about 5 minutes or until it starts getting slightly brown around the
edges. Remove the garlic and set aside. Pour the hot garlic-infused olive oil
onto the broccoli. Add in the zest and salt. Stir until coated.
5. Place broccoli bits onto a roasting pan and then place the pan into the oven to
roast for 30 minutes or until the edges begin to crisp ever so slightly.
6. At the halfway mark for the broccoli, check on them and place the pan of
tortillas also into the oven to cook for 15 minutes or until the tortillas have
crisped up with rounded backs. Remove from the oven once done.
7. While the broccoli and tostadas are in the oven, make your spiced bean
spread. Add beans, olive oil, lemon zest, Aleppo pepper, sumac, lemon juice
and a pinch of salt into the receptacle of your food processor. Whir until
smooth and season to taste. Set aside.
8. Once everything is ready, assemble your mise en place and gather a plate
of your tostadas near the receptacle of Spiced Bean Spread, a bowl of the
roasted broccoli bits and the julienned watermelon radish slices.
9. Assemble by smearing a hearty layer of spiced bean spread onto a tostada,
then add the next layer of roasted broccoli bits- about 3 tablespoons. Top
with slices of the watermelon radish and then dot the surface with the
sambal oelek sauce. Add a dollop of labneh to the center and serve.

Next, Meg of Beard & Bonnet brings us an easy frittata made special by the simple step of marinating fresh broccoli stems. She says:

My family loves broccoli, and I love feeding it to them! Broccoli is one of those vegetables that we can eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and all be happy. Matter of fact, so is this frittata! Broccoli is packed with protein, contains more calcium than most sources of dairy, and can help fight against cancer, diabetes and heart disease. That is one super vegetable if you ask me!

broccoli frittata

Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata with Marinated Broccoli Stems

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, ghee, or butter

2-3 broccoli crowns, cut into small bite-sized florets

¼ cup marinated broccoli stems, recipe follows

1 shallot, sliced thin

10 farm fresh eggs, beaten

¼  cup heavy cream

kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

¼  cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded optional


1.     In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add shallot and sauté until translucent. Add the broccoli florets and a generous pinch of salt and cook until the broccoli is tender, but still has crunch to it. Remove a 1/2 cup of the veggie mixture and set aside for later.

2.     Preheat the broiler. *It is important that the broiler is really hot! While the vegetables are cooking, beat together the eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook over medium-low heat using a heatproof spatula to push the egg from the edges of the pan towards the center in deliberate strokes to form large curds. Continue until the eggs are almost cooked, wet on top but otherwise set, about 2-3 minutes.

3.     Mix the marinated broccoli stems with the reserved vegetables, season with salt and pepper and pile the reserved vegetables in the center of the frittata then sprinkle with the cheese if using. Place the skillet under the broiler and cook until the eggs are set and the top has puffed slightly like a soufflé, about 1 – 1.5 minutes. *Watch closely so that your frittata doesn’t burn! 

4.     To serve, top the frittata with a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper.

Marinated Broccoli Stems
Adapted from Little Foods of the Mediterranean by Clifford Wright

Makes 4-6 servings

3 or 4 broccoli stems, peeled and sliced into very thin rounds

½ tsp. salt

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp. champagne vinegar

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1.     In a medium sized bowl, toss the sliced broccoli stems with the salt. Transfer to a jar, cover tightly,  and refrigerate overnight.

2.     The next morning, pour off all of the water that has accumulated in the jar through a strainer. Place the sliced stems in a bowl and toss with garlic, oil, and vinegar. Transfer back to the jar and refrigerate for a few more hours. Bring to room temperature before serving. Will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Photos courtesy of Beard & Bonnet and The Food Poet