This is the winter version of panzaella, which is also a ‘cooked bread’ side dish. It’s a different dish that pairs well with most proteins.
12 ounces dense country-style french bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 large garlic cloves, flattened, peeled
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets (about 8 cups)
3-4 cups beef stock (more may be needed.)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place bread cubes on baking sheet. Bake until bread is lightly toasted, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside. (note: you can also cut these the night before or morning and allow them to dry out for the day.)
Heat oil in heavy large deep skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add broccoli florets, 1 cup beef broth, salt, and toasted bread cubes. Toss to coat.
Cook uncovered until bread absorbs water and broccoli is crisp-tender, tossing often, about 20 minutes.
Add 1 cup of beef stock until it’s absorbed or evaporated. Repeat. Adjust your level of liquid so that your bread is not soggy, but your broccoli is crisp-tender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.