Definitely Not Boring Broccoli

in Sides

I am a big fan of broccoli. I really don’t feel that there’s any need to dress it up; to me plain steamed or sautéed broccoli is just delicious. However, when Adam from Amateur Gourmet advertises that he has The Best Broccoli of Your Life, it’s definitely going to pique my interest. I decided one day to make it and then while I was at work I asked Chase what he wanted to have to go with his broccoli. Here is our text message conversation in verbatim

Me: I’m making broccoli for dinner. What else do you want?
Chase: Just broccoli?
Me: I have a recipe for the blog
Chase: Ok. I’m saying it’s just broccoli? That’s it? That’s a boring blog entry. Here’s some broccoli. Mmmmmm. Just steam it or grill it up and there ya go.
(yes, that is a sarcasm you’re detecting in his messaging)
Me: So you think. This broccoli is gonna be amazing.

As you can see, this broccoli came with high expectations. I had to prove that broccoli could in fact be amazing. And yeah, I think I did just that. This broccoli was everything I wanted it to be. I loved the burned crispiness from roasting in the oven, the tang of the lemon juice drizzled over it and the salty buttery-ness of parmesan cheese sprinkled over top. In the end, I never did come up with anything to make alongside it and so I just had a plate of broccoli for dinner. And who was it that stole my plate and ate all the leftovers? Yeah, Mr. Broccoli-is-so-boring himself.

Seriously, give this one a try. Your veggies never tasted so good.

Definitely Not Boring Broccoli

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa via the Amateur Gourmet

Print this recipe!

Adam makes a note that it is super important that your broccoli be dry when you put it in the oven. Therefore, I did something I’ve never done before – I ate vegetables that weren’t washed! I bought organic broccoli at the farmer’s market, so I hope I’m fine, but just make sure if you wash your broccoli that you dry it very well. Also, Chase thought there was a hint too much lemon in the batch I made, so I’ve noted that you should only use the juice from half a lemon to start, and you can always add more later.

2 medium bunches of broccoli, cut into florets
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 lemon
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over broccoli and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread out over a baking sheet with the garlic cloves. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the broccoli starts to blacken around the edges and gets crispy.

Meanwhile, zest the lemon and cut in half. Squeeze the juice out of half of the lemon and combine with lemon zest and olive oil to form a “dressing.” Remove the broccoli from the oven and pour the lemon dressing over it. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pine nuts. At this point you should taste it to decide if you want to squeeze the rest of the lemon over it, and then dig into the best broccoli you’ve ever had.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany January 22, 2010 at 9:44 pm

I love broccoli prepared like this! It’s amazing.

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Fair January 22, 2010 at 11:37 pm

This sound so good, I am going to have it tomorrow night!

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Kat January 23, 2010 at 12:07 am

I just tried roasted broccoli a few weeks ago, and I completely agree that it’s the best way to eat it! Not enough people know about it…it’s good to spread the word. :)

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Ngoc January 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I’ve definitely had a big plate of roasted broccoli for dinner before. Love it! :) If you ever need ideas of what to have with it, they’re all over my blog. x

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kmoan January 23, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I also love broccoli. When I was poorer, I used to just get a couple of heads and roast them with shaved parmesan on top and eat nothing else — to the detriment of my digestive system. I can’t remember the recipe, but I adapted an America’s Test Kitchen recipe and love it. Even to this day, I have friends who say my broccoli is the only broccoli they eat. Anyhow, you can google the recipe, but they pre-heated the pan to 500 in the oven, wedged the florets, and also added a bit of sugar to help browning/carmelization. Just some ideas for those who love broccoli. Happy eating.

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Taryn January 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm

saw almost this exact recipe on Barefoot Contessa this morning…can’t wait to try it.

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Caroline January 25, 2010 at 10:39 am

Taryn – I think that Amateur Gourmet originally got this recipe from Barefoot Contessa, so I’m sure that’s what you saw! I think she also uses fresh basil, but I was pretty satisfied with this recipe.

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Tigli January 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

I just watched an episode of 30 Minute Meals the other day, and RayRay roasted broccoli with some olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. I tried it and it was amazing! As you mentioned, the little crispy edges are so delicious!
This version looks tasty as well. I love anything with lemon over it. I’ll have to try this next – thanks!

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Kim January 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm

So simple, yet so pleasurable. I love the addition of pine nuts and lemon.

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Tere Payne January 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I was cracking up at the text. Guess you had some practice defending vegetables, growing up with Henry!

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Lula March 16, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Perhaps I’m missing something… what exactly do you do with the garlic? Just throw it on the roasting pan and get rid of it once the broccoli’s done (getting rid of garlic seems so… wrong… to me)? Or do you chop it up and serve it with the broccoli? I’m a little confused on that one.

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Caroline March 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Lula – I agree that getting rid of garlic seems like some sort of cooking sin, but that’s what I would recommend doing. I don’t think the garlic roasts long enough to be good enough on it’s own, and it’s really only there to give flavor to the broccoli as it cooks.

I guess you could save the cloves and add them into a sauce or another ditch within the next day or so.

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