Feasting at Home : Steamed Broccoli with Truffle Oil, Lemon Zest and Chili Flakes

January 13, 2013

Steamed Broccoli with Truffle Oil, Lemon Zest and Chili Flakes

It really doesn't get easier than this. Or healthier. Or tastier. Simple, clean, ingredients that are incredibly addicting and good for you. It's a ridiculously basic recipe, I hesitate even calling a "recipe",  but here it is anyways, because it really is one of the things we feast on at home, regularly.  The ethereal combination of lemon zest and truffle oil is one of my secret weapons as a chef.  It completely  transforms vegetables. If having guests over, you could fancy it up a bit, using broccolini or broccoli rabe, like we do when we cater events. But when at home, I usually stick with plain old broccoli. It's less expensive and I always feel more satisfaction making something surprising and delicious out of the seemingly ordinary.

Steam the broccoli until it is fork tender. In the past, I would snub my nose at the idea of steamed veggies. They seem so cafeteria. But after years of roasting broccoli, I've return to simple steaming. It requires less oil, making it healthier, takes 5 minutes, versus 45 minutes, and I actually like the taste better.

And the best part is, steaming preserves all of  broccoli's health benefits- like the ability to lower cholesterol, anti-inflammatory properties and its powerful detoxing qualities. Broccoli is really high in Vitamin C and A, and prevents colds and flu.

Studies at John Hopkins University show that broccoli is an incredible anti-oxidant, preventing cancer cells from growing- and actually reducing the size of existing tumors by 75 percent. It truly is a super food. In fact, it is one of the most nutrient-dense foods known. Perhaps this is why it is one of the top ten vegetables consumed in the States.

When steaming broccoli or any vegetable, make sure the water line lies below the veggies.  When placing the steamer basket in the pot, the water should not come up over it.  Place veggies that have been cut into roughly the same size in the basket, and bring to a boil on high heat. Cover and boil for 5 minutes. That's it. They are done.  Taking care to make sure your broccoli florets are roughly the same size will ensure even done-ness.

Sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt.

Drizzle with a tiny bit a of truffle oil. Invest. It's worth it. Trader Joe's sells a bottle of truffle oil, for $4.99. It's quite diluted in flavor, but actually works well for this recipe. If using a higher quality truffle oil, just use a little drizzle with a little drizzle olive oil.

Add fresh lemon zest ( don't skip this- this makes it). Not the juice.

Cracked pepper.

Sometimes I'll chili flakes, but it really doesn't need it.

Toasted pine nuts are a nice addition (when catering, we add these, but when at home, we normally leave them off).

Prepared like this, you will want to eat broccoli everyday. Seriously.

Thanks for reading! For more Feasting at Home ... 
follow on FacebookInstagramPinterestBloglovin', or Twitter

print recipe

Steamed Broccoli with Lemon Zest and Truffle oil
Simple, healthy broccoli recipe, with amazing flavor.
  • 6 cups Broccoli Florets ( or broccolini)
  • pinch or two of  kosher salt
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon 
  • 1 tsp truffle oil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • cracked pepper to taste
  • chili flakes- optional
  • toasted pine nuts- optional
Tear or cut broccoli florets into roughly the same size pieces, to ensure even doneness. Steam in a steamer basket until fork tender, about 5 minutes covered. Remember to only fill the water up to the basket ( you don't want the water touching the broccoli). Bring to a boil, cover and steam on high heat for 5 minutes. Test for doneness.
Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt, cracked pepper, lemon zest. Finish with a little drizzle of truffle oil. If you are using a good quality truffle oil you may not need very much and supplement with a little drizzle of olive oil. Gently toss and taste for salt. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings


  1. I almost forgot that I saw this recipe a while back - I do not really like broccoli. But then I do believe in healthy food and variation so the other day I found myself in my kitch with a broccoli in my hand. I followed your instructions and ... i was AMAZED! How can something as simple as lemon zest make such a difference!! Thank you for sharing!

  2. This looks so good! I cannot wait to try. I need to get a steamer but I do not think they are that expensive? I found your blog through pinterest and repinned this on my website: www.muffinsandmocha.com Hope that was ok! Linked it right back to you :)