“You will find me in the corner of your mind, Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest”
Theme song by The Babe Rainbow “Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest” from The Babe Rainbow EP
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Sometimes Spotify Discover hands you a gift.
These tots are a Grill Club staple. Far superior to tater tots and you can delude yourself you’re eating healthy. They are, in fact, healthier than tater tots, but still not a salad. When I decided to add this recipe to the Music & Food project, I knew I was going to need an appropriate name. While making these, I tend to sing Dana Carvey’s “Chopping Broccoli” but that really didn’t work as a menu item.
Enter my Monday Spotify Discover list.
For those not familiar, every Monday Spotify offers up a playlist based on your recent listening habits. It’s a mix of artists you may not have heard and deep tracks from artists in your library. After a couple of weeks of listening extensively to early 80’s psychedelic revival bands and researching songs with food in the title, Spotify handed me The Babe Rainbow. More to the point – they handed me “Secret Enchanted Broccoli Forest” from The Babe Rainbow. Props to that algorithm.
The Babe Rainbow is probably not for everyone. Occasionally twee with their ’60s Carnaby Street pop references firmly on their vintage sleeves, they do provide a lovely Sunday afternoon chilling in the backyard kind of vibe. I personally think the inspiration song here is their strongest to date, but they are certainly worth a listen if you’re interested in what the kids think psychedelic pop is these days.
While these tots are brilliant without sauce, I highly recommend the Sweet Lightnin’ sauce from the Cha Cha Hut BBQ cookbook, Szechuan sauce from All You Need Is Rub, Sweet Cili O’ Mine, or swap out the Bang Bang Broccoli for some tots in this recipe.
SECRET ENCHANTED BROCCOLI TOTS
Broccoli, scallions & cheddar cheese in tot form
Makes about 18 tots
4 cups broccoli florets, blanched & chopped
1/4 cup scallion
2/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup panko
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
While a pot of water comes to a boil, destem the broccoli and break it into large florets. Blanch the broccoli taking care to not overcook. They should still be crisp & crunchy but bright green. Drain the broccoli and quickly shock by rinsing under cold water.
Finely chop the broccoli and place it in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon (or your hands if you feel like getting messy). Place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes
Using a tablespoon, form the mixture into tots and place on their sides on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes then use tongs to flip tots over. Place back into the oven and bake another 14 minutes or until golden.
Let rest 5 minutes. Serve with whatever sauce or topping your mind desires.
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