Roy Finamore's Broccoli Cooked Forever Recipe on Food52 (2024)

5 Ingredients or Fewer

by: Genius Recipes



8 Ratings

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6

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Author Notes

When you push broccoli beyond that disappointing just-too-done state (and throw in a whole lot of olive oil, bubbling lazily with garlic, anchovy, and hot peppers) you find yourself with a miraculous substance -- essentially broccoli confit. The florets trap all the oil's richness, and the stems melt away.

It would be fitting spooned up onto some sturdy bread, blanketing a good ridge-y pasta, layered onto a pizza, or anointing a sandwich. Finamore says it also works with cauliflower.

From Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006). —Genius Recipes

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 2 bunches (2-2 1/4 pounds) broccoli
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 2 small hot peppers, halved lengthwise (Finamore likes small red peppers, but you can substitute green Thai chiles, various dried ones, even a big pinch of red chile flakes)
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. While the water is heating, cut the florets off the broccoli. Peel the stems and cut them into rather thick slices, about 1/3 inch.
  3. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and cover the pot to bring it back to a boil quickly. Blanch the broccoli for five minutes. Drain.
  4. Put olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the hot peppers and anchovies. Cook, giving a stir or two, until the anchovies melt. Add the broccoli, season with salt and pepper, and stir well. Cover the skillet, turn the heat to very low, and cook for two hours. Use a spatula to turn the broccoli over in the skillet a few times, but try not to break it up. It will be very tender when done.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the broccoli to a serving dish. It is delicious hot or at room temperature.


  • Condiment/Spread
  • American
  • Vegetable
  • Anchovy
  • Broccoli
  • Hot Pepper
  • 5 Ingredients or Fewer
  • Make Ahead
  • Slow Cooker
  • Winter
  • Side

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

Popular on Food52

39 Reviews

Jono January 19, 2024

Brilliant. I find it easier to cook in an oven at 100 for two hours. No problem in catching etc etc. (Personally I double the anchovies as well). Works every way as a meal on its own and hot side or room temp salad.

MacGuffin March 9, 2023

I can't do the anchovies but this looks fantastic. Given that at least one reviewer is having trouble with the bottom of the pan, I can use the Thermowell in my Chambers Range for a few hours.

Bryon P. March 7, 2023

I have a gas stove and put the pan over the eye with the lowest possible flame. Even gently stirring it every 20 minutes did not stop the bottom from burning by the end of the first hour. I still love the idea of this recipe, but will probably have to experiment with putting the pan in the stove at a low heat after adding the broccoli and/or cauliflower. The temperature will be a trial and error process, so if you have a suggestion I'd love to hear it.

meghan November 9, 2022

This may be my favorite recipe of all time, and I make it often. With that said, the recipe photo is deceiving—this is not a side dish. When cooked properly, the broccoli should completely break down, creating a rich, velvety condiment to toss with pasta or spread on toast. I add extra anchovies, use jarred Calabrian chiles for heat, don't bother slicing the garlic (it will break down with the broccoli anyway), and top with Pecorino Romano.

Alexandra December 23, 2021

If you approach this as a condiment (for bread, pasta, etc.) and not as a side dish in its own right, it’s spectacular. I totally see how it would be too rich & texturally unappealing if served as a stand-alone part of a meal.

dymnyno September 11, 2020

I was eager to try this as a green vegetable side to a beef tenderloin. It was a disappointment both visually and taste wise. Too soggy and had a terrible color!

meme January 29, 2019

heavenly, you have to make it to believe it thanks so much

EmilyC July 14, 2017

Just made a delicious discovery when making a version of this. If you stick the broccoli under the broiler for a brief minute or two once it has cooked forever, the oil-plumped florets get dark and crispy, such a nice contrast to its fall-apart softness.

Georgia S. October 20, 2016

The key to this recipe is the long slow cooking. Just like with onions, cooking slowly in oil allows more complex flavors to develop than you can get with fast cooking or boiling. If you stop after 20 min you will just have seasoned overcooked broccoli.

I used less oil. Anchovies just disintigrate and give rich umami. While it tastes amazing, it falls apart too much, so I will try the oven baking idea. The recipe says to cover the pan while cooking, but that seemed to trap too much steam, so I left the lid off part of the time. Finally, serve over pasta or bread with lean meat to balance the oil - and wine!

TeaForMe December 22, 2015

I've made this about once a week since discovering the recipe! As others, I've shortened the cooking time and the quantity of olive oil. I have yet to try it with anchovies -- capers, a mix of olives and some rosemary for me.

Abigail O. November 28, 2015

I have had this on my must try list for quite some time and just did. Even at a very, very low heat, my broccoli reached what I determined to be its peak doneness at around 1 hour and 20 minutes. I drained the broccoli very well, as it does absorb quite the good amount of oil then tossed with rigatoni pasta and parmesan cheese. It was absolutely delicious. I think on its own, as a side dish, the texture might be a bit too one note/overwhelming--but in a dish it is amazing. Crusty bread is up next and pizza. Love the recipe!

JBF O. November 12, 2015

I just made this with much less oil and in much less time and it was delicious. I followed the recipe but only put about 1/3 cup of olive oil in the pan. I then cooked at the lowest heat for about 20-25 minutes. It was tender but did not completely fall apart. I can't imagine cooking it in 1 cup of oil and for 2 hours.

Transcendancing October 15, 2015

I *loved* this! So much broccoli flavour, enhanced by the chilli and garlic and capers (taking another commenter's advice). Also having a gas stove, I used the oven to do my slow cooking component. The result was gloriously soft broccli and flavourful oil - I used it on homemade pizza bases, topped with fresh buffalo mozarella just as it came out of the oven. And wow! What an amazing pizza dinner it was! Some of the best homemade pizza we've had - and we have high standards by now. Worth considering to serve this delicious dish :)

Penny L. May 23, 2015

I made this once with broccoli and it was delicious, although a bit mushy.

Has anyone made this recipe using green beans? It seems like the same 'cooked too long' quality that this recipe takes advantage of for broccoli applies to green beans as well. They wouldn't melt in quite the same way but it could form a confit.

beejay45 May 22, 2015

I've got to say I don't get the draw on this, but I suppose not many would adore my oven charred asparagus in olive oil, garlic and sea salt either. ;) Like my broccoli bright green and tender crisp. This just seems like it relies on externals for flavor. Now cauliflower...

Melissa May 21, 2015

Yummy- I slathered it on bread with some Parmesan and hot pepper flakes. It reminds me of Marcella Hazan's smothered cabbage soup.
Mine started to stick to the pan a bit after about 1/2 hour, so I finished the last 1 1/2 hours in a 225 degree oven.

Tonya April 7, 2015

This dish was lovely. I did cook it in the oven, and it came out testing perfectly. Also reminded me of this dish —

Ashley M. October 11, 2014

I'm torn on this one but only because I think I didn't salt it enough and served it with something that was too "oily" (feta stuffed chicken breasts). I think ssjasaurus has the right idea with serving it on crusty bread. Perhaps with a salad or a lean steak? Definitely a recipe I'll revisit and experiment with!

soojasaurus September 20, 2013

Basically I might have pushed this one two far, letting the broccoli basically fall apart. BUT it was just phenomenally delicious after I'd refrigerated it, letting the olive oil become more like butter and mushing it onto crusty bread, putting it in the oven with some sharp cheddar cheese. It was like the best version of broccoli and cheese, ever!

cucina D. September 10, 2013

This is how my Mammina Loreta and Nonna Assunta cooked broccoli. They would blanch it first then basically braise/saute it on medium low heat with garlic and plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper (the chili flakes were reserved for thos of us who loved the extra heat.)

I tend to cook my broccoli less these days, but my famiglia asks me often to cook the broccoli for dinner ala Nonna Loreta :) Thanks for this lovely reminder that the old style cooks really did know what they were doing.

Roy Finamore's Broccoli Cooked Forever Recipe on Food52 (2024)


Can broccoli be overcooked? ›

Steam it to the point that even one tendril turns yellow, or it starts to emit that creeping sulfurous-funk smell -- and we think we've ruined the whole pot. And to a degree, we're right. Broccoli overcooked carelessly tastes stale and murky.

How to prepare broccoli for people who don t like broccoli? ›

Simply sautee the broccoli in a pan with just a little butter, some onions and grated garlic and voila! Add a drizzle of lemon if desired.

Does overcooked broccoli taste bad? ›

I wasn't necessarily shocked — overcooked broccoli does have a delicate flavor and an almost creamy texture. After eating it a few times with a little melted butter and some salt and pepper (see picture above), I began to understand the accidental charm of this mushy side dish.

How do you know when broccoli is fully cooked? ›

The broccoli is done when you can pierce it with a fork. As soon as it is pierce-able, remove from heat, place in serving dish. Note that green vegetables like broccoli will turn from vibrant green to drab olive green at about the 7 minute mark of cooking.

What makes broccoli taste better? ›

Toss broccoli with thyme, garlic salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Put broccoli on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Lemon slices are optional, but they do make it look so pretty and add another dimension of lemon flavor!

What is the healthiest way to eat broccoli? ›

Cooking (Or Not Cooking) Broccoli To Protect Its Nutritional Riches : The Salt Cooking broccoli too long destroys the beneficial enzyme that breaks down chemicals into cancer fighters. The best way to eat it is raw or steamed for just two to three minutes, a nutrition expert says.

Why you should not overcook broccoli? ›

Overcooked broccoli will be mushy and lose more nutrients. You can add a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice to the broccoli after cooking for extra flavor. Steaming or microwaving are also good options for other vegetables that you want to retain their nutrients.

What color is overcooked broccoli? ›

Texture and Color: Due to the breakdown of chlorophyll, overcooked broccoli loses its crunch and turns yellow or olive green. Although the texture and aesthetic appeal of the vegetable may be affected, this does not necessarily imply that all of the nutrients are gone.

What does overcooked broccoli taste like? ›

Here's the science behind it: When moist heat breaks down the broccoli's cell walls, it triggers the formation of sulfur-containing compounds called isothiocyanates. The longer the broccoli is cooked, the more these compounds are produced and the more pungent the broccoli's taste—but only up to a point.

Is overcooked broccoli mushy? ›

Overcooked broccoli will be wet, mushy, and limp, with a dull color and an uninspiring taste. You'll only want to overcook broccoli for certain recipes, such as soup. Broccoli that is not overcooked retains its color, fresh taste, and a bit of crunch.


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