Roasted Broccoli

We have tended to avoid broccoli, both in the grocery story and in our cooking. Too often the stalks you find in the grocery store are dull looking, limp things that taste of dieting and regret. Recently though we enjoyed roasted broccoli at a favorite restaurant and it was a bit of a revelation. After trying it a few times at home here’s my go-to technique.

Roasted Broccoli
Servings: 2-4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh broccoli
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut the florets off the the broccoli stalk; cut florets into bite-sized pieces. Remove the about 1/2″ from the end of the stalk. Using a vegetable peeler remove a layer from the stem and then slice the stem on a bias into bite-size pieces.
  3. Toss broccoli pieces with oil, salt and pepper. Scatter onto a rimmed baking sheet, leaving some space between pieces.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing broccoli half-way through baking. Broccoli is done when a fork can easily pierce a floret.
  5. Transfer roasted broccoli to a serving bowl. Toss with lemon zest and juice. Adjust salt and pepper as desired.

Notes:
Any number of flavorful condiments can be used with roasted broccoli to up the flavor profile. Replace the lemon with Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil (add some sesame seeds for good measure), fish sauce, or sauteed garlic and red pepper flakes.

When cooking for just the two of us I have used an oven-safe stainless steel skillet rather than a baking sheet. As long as the skillet isn’t crowded it’ll work fine.

Broccoli soup

We received a couple stalks of broccoli in our CSA box the past two weeks. I’m not a huge fan of just eating chunks of broccoli be it steamed as a side dish or mixed into something like beef & broccoli. I wanted something a bit different. And easy because I honestly get weary of weeknight cooking.

Broccoli soup was the solution and it was very tasty. This is based roughly on a recipe I found at cooksillustrated.com.

Broccoli Soup

Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 medium onion, rough chopped
• 1 Hungarian wax pepper, cut into strips and then chopped
• 2 Tbsp. dry sherry
• 1 lbs. broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
• 2 cups chicken broth (we use Swanson “Natural Goodness” low-sodium broth)
• 1 tsp. kosher salt
• 20 grinds of black pepper
• 1/2 cup whole milk

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add then onions and saute for 3 minutes or so.
  2. Add the pepper and saute another 2 minutes. The onions should be translucent before moving on.
  3. Add the sherry and broccoli. Stir and cook until the sherry evaporate, maybe 30 seconds or so.
  4. Add the broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer the broccoli, broth, et al to a blender. Add the milk and puree until smooth.
  6. Taste, season with additional salt & pepper if desired, taste again.
  7. Serve it warm with toasted bread. Ted had his bread with a bit of melted smoked cheddar. I went for the classic butter.

Makes about 3 cups of sauce.