The Drowned Broccoli

If you missed out my first Snapchat recipe, these “drowned broccoli” or “broccoli affogati” are for you.

First of all, if you don’t want to lose the next ones, this is Skitikkio Snapchat Qr code. Scan it and check out my food stories.


Now, let’s see how to “drown” this broccoli and why they are called in this way.

Broccoli affogati, or drowned broccoli, are a traditional side dish from Sicily. It comes from the typical peasant wisdom of making the most of very poor ingredients. Thanks to the  combination of broccoli, red wine, onions, anchovies and cheese it  goes wonderfully together with red meat and is an exceptionally tasty filling for a calzone or a focaccia.

The traditional Sicilian recipe would call for purple cauliflower but I struggle to find it in Ireland, so our best option  is the purple sprouting broccoli, and I have to admit that the result with them is pretty much close to the original.

What you have to do to enjoy them at their best is to kill this broccoli drowning them in a good quantity of a full-bodied red wine. In order to respect the terroir rule the best thing would be a Sicilian red wine such as Nero d’Avola, Cerasuolo or Etna Rosso.

But migration cuisine is always a work of compromise, so I had at  my fingertips this Minervois and it worked greatly for the mission.


So to cut all the chit-chat (and probably stop to make you starving) here’s a full description about how to drown your broccoli.

Ingredients €6.00 (4 Servings)

  • Bunches of broccoli 2 units
  • Onion 1 unit
  • Anchovies 6 units
  • Red wine (glasses) 2 units
  • Semi hard cheese in shavings Pecorino or Caciocavallo or Mature Cheddar 100 gs
  • Extravergin Olive Oil 4 tsps
  1. Wash your broccoli and eventually cut the hardest parts.
  2. Cut the onion in thin slices.
  3. Choose a saucepan or pot with a good thick bottom and highs sides in size that just fit the quantity of your ingredients.
  4. Put half of your olive oil in the pot and put your first layer of broccoli. Add some some onion, 3 or 4 pieces of anchovies and some cheese shavings. Add a round of olive oil.
  5. Repeat step n. 4 until you finish all your ingredients and cover.
  6. Pour on all your ingredients the red wine and simmer covered at a very low heat.
  7. When the broccoli are half cooked give a good stir (without breaking them) and check if there is any cheese stuck to the bottom and eventually scrape it
  8. Cover again and let simmer until full cooked
  9. Once the broccoli are cooked taste and check for the salt. It should be tasty enough thanks to the anchovies and the cheese. But, if needed, add more salt.
  10. If there is still too much liquid, let it simmer uncovered until it dries out

…. serve it warm and buon appetito!

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