Your mother was right about broccoli

March 22, 1992|By McClatchy News Service

Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables, and now you know she was right -- especially since the report just issued in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Essentially, researchers now believe that a chemical prevalent in cruciferous vegetables -- a family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and greens (collards, turnips, mustard, etc.) -- could increase the production of sulforaphane, an enzyme known to put the whammy on carcinogens.

Dr. Paul Talalay, who headed the project, counsels patients. He is not saying that broccoli prevents cancer -- he's looking at several more years of research before he hopes to make such a stunning announcement -- and he is not saying there is a recommended daily dose of broccoli we should be eating.

What to do in the meantime? Well, it certainly can't hurt to pile a few more of those cruciferous veggies onto the plate, just in case. To that end, here is a recipe to make the good news easier to swallow:

Broccoli with peppers, olives and feta cheese

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

1 large bunch broccoli

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

10 Kalamata olives, pits removed, chopped into large pieces

3 tablespoons roasted peppers, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

2 ounces feta cheese

salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut broccoli into large flowerets. Set aside stalks for another purpose or thickly peel them, cut into spears or rounds, and include a few of them in the recipe. Steam broccoli until cooked as desired.

Warm oil in a large pan with sliced garlic. Remove garlic when it has browned; add steamed broccoli, olives, peppers, marjoram, and parsley. Saute over medium-high heat until everything is warmed. Scatter cheese over broccoli, season it lightly with salt, and add pepper to taste.

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