Lately I’ve been having some fun in the kitchen with coconut aminos. This gluten free soy sauce alternative has a distinct flavor– it has the depth of soy sauce and tamari, with some of the saltiness, but it also has a lovely light sweetness that adds depth. The brand I use is certified kosher and gluten free, which naturally sparks my Passover-cooking creativity. This new vegetable side dish pairs steamed broccoli and pan-roasted cashews with a mouthwatering sauce made from coconut aminos, dates, fresh ginger, orange juice, garlic and cayenne. It will most certainly make an appearance at my Seder meal this year!
There are many flavors playing together in this dish, which made it slightly difficult to name. After having some family and friends taste the recipe, the overwhelming consensus was that it was truly delightful, but it was difficult to pinpoint one particular dominant flavor. After a few bites, most noticed the citrus overtones– so I named it Citrus Broccoli with Cashews.
But this is no ordinary citrus sauce. It’s sweet, but not cloying. The ginger and cayenne adds the slightest kick. The coconut aminos don’t taste much like coconut at all– but they do give a very distinct, somewhat teriyaki-like flavor to the sauce. I thickened it with potato starch for Passover, but you can use any starch you like. It’s a very easy, unexpected side dish and a definite crowd pleaser. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
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Citrus Broccoli with Cashews
- 2 lbs. broccoli florets
- 2 pitted dates
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 tsp potato starch
- Be sure that you weigh the florets, not the whole head of broccoli, and that the florets are cut down to bite-sized and well cleaned. Reserve.
- Place two pitted dates in the bottom of a blender. Cover with coconut aminos, orange juice, fresh ginger, minced garlic, and cayenne. Let the dates soak in the liquid for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring continuously, for around 8 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Be sure to get a nice dark toasted color on the cashews, it adds flavor. When toasted, pour out of the skillet into a bowl and reserve.
- Blend the mixture in the blender, first on low, then increasing speed, for 1-2 minutes until the dates are full incorporated into the liquid. Scrape the sides as needed.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together 2 tsp potato starch with 1/2 cup cold water until smooth.
- Add the mixture from the blender to the saucepan, turn heat to medium, and heat up the sauce, whisking constantly, until it bubbles and thickens. You will need to whisk it vigorously for a time, breaking up any clumps, until the sauce thickens and gels. When the sauce reaches the consistency of a thick honey, remove from heat and reserve.
- Place broccoli florets into a 6 quart pot along with 1/2 cup water. Bring water to a boil over medium high heat. Cover the pot tightly and let the broccoli steam for 6-8 minutes until the thickest florets and their stems are tender and bright green, but not overly soft. Drain the florets in a colander, shaking to thoroughly remove excess moisture.
- Put steamed florets back into the pot. Add the toasted cashews and the thickened sauce. Toss all ingredients together gently until the florets and cashews are well mixed and evenly coated with sauce. Serve warm.