I'd planned to just steam some broccoli to go along with the Orange Honey Grilled Chicken that we had on Sunday night, but I wanted to bump it up a bit. Since the orange flavor in the chicken is sweet, but subtle I figured that using some of the orange juice to make a sauce would work well. One of Hubby's favorite salmon dishes has a citrus vanilla butter sauce and he's nuts about it, so I thought it might be a good accompaniment for the broccoli. I also have some of the incredible Irish butter left over from my St Patrick's Day dinner, so that was a no-brainer.
Broccoli With Orange Vanilla Butter
- 2 Lg Heads Broccoli Crowns
- 1-2 Lg Navel Oranges, zest and juice
- 2 Tbls Butter
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
Separate your broccoli florets and put them in a large dutch oven or soup pot with a couple of inches of water in the bottom. You can use a steamer basket if you'd like but it isn't necessary. Steam over medium high heat until they are just fork tender and still have their bright green color. While the broccoli is cooking, make the sauce.
In a small skillet or sauce pan combine butter, orange juice, orange zest and the vanilla bean over very low heat. Add a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper, to taste. I had an old bean that had been used to make vanilla sugar, so it was a bit dry and brittle, so I broke it up and threw the whole thing in. If you have a fresh bean, you'll only need a small piece, about 1/2 inch or so. You could substitute a cap full of pure vanilla extract, but please make sure it's not imitation vanilla flavoring. I don't know what they use to make it, but that stuff doesn't have anything even close to real vanilla in it. Yuck!
Allow the ingredients to heat slowly, stirring or swirling it in the pan every so often. You do not want this to come to a boil.
When the broccoli is done you can remove the vanilla bean from the sauce (if using) and pour it into a little pitcher or small bowl and serve it along side of the dish or if you are plating up the meal for each person, you can spoon a little of the sauce over the broccoli just before serving. (I ended up wishing that I'd doubled the recipe for this sauce because it was great with the chicken too!) Enjoy!
You'll likely find me linking up at these fabulous parties this week.