Braised Broccoli with Olives

This is a recipe that can be enjoyed as a side dish, smothered over bruschetta, or tossed with pasta and parmesan cheese.
1.5 pounds broccoli
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 c olive oil
1 onion
1 T choped marjoram or oregano, or 1 tsp dried
3 garlic cloves, coarsley chopped
2 T olive paste or finely chopped Gaeta olives (or any kind of brined olive)
grated zest of 1/2 lemon

  • Separate the stalks from the broccoli crowns. Thickly peel and trim the stalks and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Peel the base of the crowns and separate into florets.
  • Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil; add salt, then the broccoli. Cook for 5 minutes (even if the water doesn't return to a boil), then scoop into a colander and drain, reserving a cup of the water. Chop into small pieces just smaller than bite sized.
  • Warm the olive oil in a wide skillet, then add the onion, herbs, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring now and then, until the onion is softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the olive paste or olives; add the broccoli and stir to coat well. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and add the lemon zest. Add the reserved broccoli water and simmer gently until the broccoli is very tender, 15-20 minutes.