How many times have you either said or been told, "Eat your broccoli. It's good for you." Too many to remember? Never fear, I have a dish that will turn those responses to your demand from "All right, Mom" to "Alright, Mom!"
Many of you are fully aware of what roasting can do to a vegetable. It intensifies the flavor and caramelizes the natural sugars. And roasting at a high heat means dinner is on the table in under 15 minutes.
This recipe uses both the florets and stalks, so remember to buy the broccoli with the big stalks and not just the crowns. Not only is it tasty, but it is lighter on the wallet. I happen to prefer the stalks over the florets (I know--weird). They are so delectably tender and they don't stick between my teeth like the little buds do. To ensure that they come out fork tender, you must peel them first. You can use a vegetable peeler, but I find that it is easier to slip a sharp paring knife just under the thick skin. While holding the skin between your thumb and the edge of the knife, pull the skin down and away from the stalk. Repeat until completely peeled. That sweet and tender stalk is even tasty raw.
I like to cover the broccoli for the first 5 minutes of roasting. This creates a little steam and keeps the broccoli nice and tender. I also like to shake on a little crushed red pepper and sometimes freshly grated Parmesan cheese depending on what else we are having for dinner.
2 pounds broccoli with stalks3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position. Place a large, rimmed baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 500° F.
Cut the broccoli at the juncture of the florets and stalks. Using a sharp paring knife, peel and pull the thick outer peel from the stalks. Cut the stalks into 2 to 3-inch thick pieces. Cut the crowns into four wedges if the stalks are 3 to 4 inches in diameter or six wedges if the stalks are 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Place the broccoli in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, stir together the garlic and oil. Drizzle the garlic oil over the broccoli and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with the salt and sugar and toss to combine.
Working quickly and carefully, remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Transfer the broccoli to the baking sheet and spread into an even layer, placing flat sides of the broccoli down. Cover the baking sheet with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, using oven mitts to crimp the foil around the rim to seal. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to roast for another 6-8 minutes or until the stalks and florets are lightly browned. Transfer to a platter, season with crushed red pepper and/or Parmesan if using, and serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Cook's Illustrated