Broccoli with garlic, crushed chilis, and pecorino

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Broccoli with garlic, crushed chilis, and pecorino
So the front page of the Sunday, October 31, “New York Times” business section shows Vic Silvestre bagging up the last of the season's heirloom tomatoes from Happy Boys Farm. The arugula and peppercress in the background also look seriously picked over. Since Kaiser Permanente stands for broccoli, this week's recipe features this tasty vegetable. As a reminder, there is another great recipe for broccoli with sesame seeds and crushed chilis in Volume 2 of the collected recipes. Beth Bernstein, a dietitian from San Diego Kaiser Permanente, suggested a disclaimer to go with any broccoli recipes. The Vitamin K in broccoli and other dark green vegetables can affect the dose of coumadin needed for those patients who are anticoagulated. If they eat pretty much the same diet over time, the doses may not need adjusting. However, eating seasonally may require dosage changes. The benefits of broccoli far outweigh the risks for most people. Try this simple recipe varying the amounts of ingredients to taste.


  • One head broccoli
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 to 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


Remove the broccoli's florets. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer layers of the stalk. I didn't peel off quite enough the first time I tried this and got fibers stuck in my teeth. Cut the stalk into 1/2" pieces. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the garlic briefly. Add 1 Tbsp chicken stock, pieces of stalk and the crushed chilis. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the broccoli is a bit tender. Add a little more stock if it evaporates. Add the florets and an additional 1 Tbsp of chicken stock. Cover and steam until the broccoli is tender. In a warmed serving dish, toss the broccoli gently with the pecorino cheese. I tried this with reggiano parmesan and it was also excellent. Add a little salt if needed.