Friday, March 18, 2011

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

      I don't only eat sugary, baked treats. I actually do try to eat what's good for me most days. So, in light of the last couple cake posts I thought I'd share something on the healthier end of the spectrum: Broccoli. At the moment I'm ending a "sick" day throughout which my stomach was in knots and nothing, nothing, sounded or looked appealing to eat (this is when I know I'm sick). That said, filtering through pictures and writing of broccoli tonight may not have been the most appetizing choice of activities for me, though I believe I can still muster up some positive things to say about this recipe. I'm sure I can.
      First, I know a number of people who can't stand to eat "healthy" things because they "don't taste good." This is tragic to me. Surely they've just not been eating the right things...or in the right ways...or maybe their minds are just made up. To these such people, though, I would offer this broccoli. Maybe it would help to prove them wrong as this recipe makes broccoli a dream. I've discovered this to be the way to cook it. Roasting gives the florets a perfect dainty crunch. And, tossing them around in garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, and basil makes for a fabulous mouthful of flavor. I try to use as much of the broccoli bunch as I can, though you are welcome to cook up only the florets, discarding the stalks altogether. I omitted the pine nuts in this batch, for the sake of fat and cost, though it's certainly a great option and adds a nice crunch. You have to serve this hot, too---no reheating! So, there's my bit. Give this a try and let me know what you think! Doubt you'll ever want broccoli another way...

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
borrowed from Mrs. Ina Garten
serves 6

4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (1-2 lemons ) 
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (the same 1-2 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons freshly julienned basil leaves (about 12 leaves)
3 tablespoons pine nuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Cut the broccoli florets from the stalks, leaving as much stalk as desired and discarding the rest. Cut the larger florets lengthwise along the stalk into 2-3 smaller pieces (you should have about 8 cups florets.)
3. Spread broccoli in a single layer onto a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil.
4. Toss the broccoli with sliced garlic and 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Roast for 15-25 minutes or until florets are lightly browned.
6. Remove broccoli from oven and toss immediately with 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and zest, parmesan, basil, and pine nuts. Serve hot!

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