Advertisement

How Does Olive Garden Season Its Fan-Favorite Broccoli?

Steamed broccoli in white bowl
Steamed broccoli in white bowl - Eyewave/Getty Images

Olive Garden has built a reputation for its tasty breadsticks and a constantly evolving menu filled with Italian-inspired creations. But one dish that is consistently chosen by Olive Garden's customers is its seasoned broccoli. You've likely already had it and are probably thinking about ordering it again while reading this. But the ultimate question remains: How does Olive Garden season its broccoli? Well, a little research has turned up some interesting discoveries about the process the popular restaurant chain uses to make this delicious dish. You'll be surprised how easy it is.

By adding some simple ingredients like garlic and herbs, Olive Garden is able to transform an ordinary side dish into something that has become the highlight of the meal for many customers. But it gets more interesting from here, folks. One of the most essential steps in this process involves a common household appliance that most chefs would never admit using -- the microwave.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

How The Olive Garden Seasons Its Broccoli

Seasoned broccoli in a dish
Seasoned broccoli in a dish - Aristotoo/Getty Images

Some Olive Garden dishes require lots of preparation, precise attention to detail, and constant upkeep to make sure they come out great. Other dishes, like its seasoned broccoli, can be made quickly using the assistance of a microwave and some simple seasonings. One commenter claiming to be an Olive Garden chef on a Reddit board mentioned how it's done. "I'm one of the cooks at Olive Garden so I'll pretty much let you know what we do is take the broccoli and put it in a microwave-safe container," says the Reddit user. They then explained how they used to heat the broccoli with water but swapped it for seasoned oil. In the seasoned oil are spices like garlic and herbs. They simply microwave everything for three minutes, maybe a little longer if the broccoli doesn't steam. Then they put it on a plate and sprinkle it with Olive Garden seasoning, which is garlic salt and Italian Cheese Blend.

Another user claiming to be an Olive Garden chef on the same board wrote about a slightly different approach. They said Olive Garden calls for them to use olive oil, garlic, and red pepper. Next, they pour these ingredients over the top of the broccoli before putting it in the microwave for one minute and 45 seconds. "Our broccoli is raw and never frozen. Once it's out of the microwave we shake parm/parsley seasoning over the top," says the Reddit user.

The Benefits Of Steaming Broccoli In A Microwave

Broccoli and creamy pasta on plate
Broccoli and creamy pasta on plate - Ezume Images/Shutterstock

Now that you know the secret behind Olive Garden's signature broccoli seasoning, it may not come as a surprise that people have been speculating as to how much the popular restaurant chain requires its chefs to use a microwave. One Reddit thread simply named "Olive Garden" starts with a meme saying, "A microwave is the head chef at Olive Garden." Reddit users claiming to be Olive Garden employees jokingly agreed with the meme, with one saying, "As a former employee, I can vouche [sic] that this is true." Another user citing a former GM said they only use the microwave for things like broccoli and "certain sauces that aren't held hot or used on a sauté dish. But other than that they don't use the microwave for much else."

When it comes to foods that shouldn't be microwaved, broccoli just isn't one of them. There are actually a lot of benefits when using a microwave to cook broccoli. One bonus is its aesthetic qualities. When you microwave broccoli, its color is preserved more than it would be using traditional methods. This provides a pleasing presentation. Furthermore, its nutrients are also preserved when steamed in the microwave (provided it's not immersed in water). Texture is another important quality that remains, as the stalks become more tender, proving that Olive Garden chefs can proudly say they do use microwaves as one of their cooking tools.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.