Maybe you didn’t like broccoli as a child. Perhaps you harbor a secret aversion to the cruciferous green vegetable, but don’t want to admit to it because you’re a “grown up” now and your supposed to eat your vegetables without whining. Maybe you’ll only eat it when drowned in a cheese sauce or cut up so small in stir-fry that its not worth picking it out. Or maybe you really do like broccoli but have gotten bored of it. Are you tired of steaming it, adding a little butter, salt and pepper and having it lay there next to the starch and the protein on your plate? I was! Ho hum. Broccoli.
But, ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about roasting broccoli! Roasting brings out the best of so many things (chicken, pumpkin, potatoes, red bell peppers, garlic, etc.) and as it turns out, broccoli is no exception. The green stalks get brown and crunchy, the texture inside is al dente perfection, and you’ll find that you eat twice as much as you were expecting. (Or maybe that was just me.)
With a recipe this simple, you can toss it in the oven and almost ignore it. By the time you’re done preparing the rest of the meal, the broccoli is done and you’ve got yourself an easy, healthy, and did I mention really delicious, side dish.
serves 2 (as a major component to the meal) to 4 (as a side)
- 2 medium/small sized heads of broccoli (or 1 large one)
- 2-3 large garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil (you don’t have to, but it makes clean-up easier).
Cut up the broccoli into largish florets and heap in a pile on the cookie sheet. Roughly mince the garlic and add it to the broccoli. Add the pepper flakes, and zest the lemon directly onto the pile of goodness. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and toss to coat. Spread out the broccoli into a single layer and put in the oven.
Roast, stirring once or twice, for about 25 minutes or until the broccoli is browned on a bit more than the edges and is just fork tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.