This is a great way to cook many kinds of vegetables such as broccoli rabe, bok choy, and kale. The blanching helps to get the vegetable cooked evenly while it still holds a crunchy texture. The tomatoes add a nice bit of sweetness and acidity. The sauce isn’t really a sauce but it really helps the garlic, ginger, and other flavors to cling to the vegetable. With stir-fry cooking, use high heat for a short time, and be sure to have everything prepped and ready to go before you begin.
1 large head of broccoli
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons neutral oil
4 to 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2 inch slice peeled fresh ginger, finely minced
1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, such as Juliet
Prep the broccoli by cutting the head into florets. Trim the tough parts from the bottom, peel the stalk and cut it into thin slices. Mix the salt, sugar, cornstarch, and water together in a small bowl.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. We want to bring out the color, slightly cook the broccoli but leave it pretty crunchy. Drain and rinse briefly under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again.
Heat a large deep skillet or wok on high heat and add the neutral oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 10 seconds just until fragrant. Then add the cherry tomatoes and the broccoli. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, stir the cornstarch mixture again and add to the pan. Stir-fry for about 1 minute more. The tomatoes should be warmed through and about to burst and the broccoli should be cooked but crunchy. Taste and season with salt as needed. Serve hot or at room temperature.