Does this look like the same old broccoli that we are all used to?
It stumps me when I read stories about parents have a tough time shoving broccoli down their little ones’ throats while they make a fuss about eating their greens. In fact, the only vegetable I thought I didn’t like was green beans. That was until I tried a green bean stir fry at a restaurant in NYC. I couldn’t believe I asked for more! That’s when it struck me that it’s not about that vegetable, it’s about how it is cooked. Each vegetable is different and it needs to be cooked right to extract the maximum flavor from it.
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Adapted from: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics – Ina Garten
4-5 pounds / 2kgs broccoli
8 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
4-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon or lime zest (I used lime)
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice (lime, again)
4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tbsp basil, julienned
Salt and pepper to season
- Cut and wash the broccoli into chunky florets (they will reduce in size after roasting). Then lay the broccoli out on a kitchen napkin to dry (like, very, very dry) while you prep things up.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C.
- Now in a sheet pan, arrange the broccoli in a single layer and toss the garlic on it. Drizzle with 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Roast for 20 minutes or until the broccoli has browned a bit and the broccoli has a crisp-tender texture.
- As soon as you remove it from the oven, toss it with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and the rest of the ingredients – lemon juice, lemon zest, pine nuts, Parmesan and basil. Serve hot.
Some points that will help you along the way:
- Make sure to dry the broccoli very well before you roast them – if they have water on them they will tend to steam more than dry roast. You could lay them on a kitchen napkin for 30 minutes after you’ve washed them.
- Let your pan preheat in the oven so it gets scorching hot, and then toss the broccoli on it to get maximum crispiness.
- I think the lemon is the key part – don’t skimp on the lime zest – add a squeeze of the lime juice if you like (I didn’t though).
- I loved the pine nuts in them. I think walnuts would taste fab too.
I hope this works and you get your family to eat their greens. Though, I still haven’t replicated that green bean recipe, I’m so scared I might fail and go back to hating green beans!