Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roasted broccoli

You all are going to think I have lost my dang mind, but I am here to tell you that roasted broccoli will change your life, shift your world view, blow your mind, etc. And I wouldn't sell this so hard if I didn't think it were true--I mean, come on, it's broccoli. No one will trust you ever again if you tell them a broccoli recipe is unbelievably amazing and then it just tastes like broccoli. But in this case--it's true. Something happens under high heat and your broccoli goes all crispy, yet tender and so deep-flavored--it sounds odd, but it really tastes almost meaty. Completely addictive. OK, I'll back off the hard sell now, I just want you to try it for yourself. You'll see!Get about 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil...Salt and pepper liberally, plus you can add a few red pepper flakes if you want. Add in several heads of (very well dried) chopped broccoli. I used probably 3 small heads, cut up into florets. If you leave some larger and some smaller, you'll have a nice texture contrast once it is all roasted up because the little ones will be super-crispy and the larger ones will stay more distinct in shape. Toss the broccoli around really well so they get completely coated in olive oil and seasonings. The first time I made this, I just drizzled the broccoli with olive oil right on the roasting pan and that worked fine--but doing it this way ensures good coverage on every last little floret. Look at them. So unaware of what their future holds. Such greatness before them. Like a senior class yearbook picture. Set them to roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, but be ready to check in on them in ten minutes. While they're roasting, chop up some garlic. At least 2 cloves, more if you're saucy. This is how I do when I'm being sloppy: hulk smash...
And you barely end up chopping at all.
Here they are, after about 10 minutes. Stir them around and add in the chopped garlic at this point--if you put it in at the start, I find it burns up too much in the hot oven. And burned garlic isn't all that great tasting. These broccoli deserve better. OK, right about now you're saying "what have I done?? Why did I listen to that weird broccoli evangelist?" And it's true--they look burnt and sad. But then you take a nibble on one...and that's when the choir of angels begins to sing. Variations are would be especially good to grate a little parmesan over the top right before serving. Or just a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten everything up. Or to go with a meal with Asian flavors, you can replace the salt with tamari and then sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve. These definitely taste best hot out of the oven though, so whatever you do, do it fast. You will not need to worry about leftovers.


Natalie (Charlie's sister) said...

I love your blog and I'm trying this recipe right now. Phil is a lucky man to get served such creations! I will report back and let you know how it went over with the non-vegetable eating family. I think they just might love it!

Natalie (Charlie's sister) said...

Sorry I didn't get right back, but it was a HIT. The seven year old tasted it, rolling it around in his mouth like a 50 year old wine taster, and finally said..."it's good." This is a huge compliment coming from a seven year old. He ate it all! Of course, Dave and I loved it (even though I think I could have cooked it a bit longer to make it a bit more crispy.) Thanks!