This is the best damn broccoli ever.
I don’t usually litter my posts with profanities. But they’re just flowing out of me as I type up this post and I can’t seem to get a handle on it. So apologies in advance if you are offended!
This is hands down the best damn broccoli I have ever had in my life. I don’t take credit for it. It’s based on a Ina Garten recipe (aka Barefoot Contessa). Her recipe is jazzed up with pine nuts and basil leaves, neither of which I had in stock and frankly, I don’t intend to bother because this is so damn good as it is. And also pine nuts are really expensive!
Oh, also she says use 4 to 5 pounds (2 – 2.5kg) of broccoli which I think is way too much for an ordinary meal so I’ve cut this down to 1 giant head of broccoli or 2 medium heads to serve 4. This might seem like a lot but the broccoli shrinks a bit while roasting so I find that a very full tray is the perfect amount to serve 4 as a side or 2 as a main.
The crazy thing is, this recipe is so simple! It is not much more effort than steaming them in the microwave, though it does take longer because you bake the broccoli. Baking is the key! Roasting broccoli creates a flavour that is light years away from plain steamed broccoli, it sweetens it and you also get the caramelisation. Plus, it sucks up the flavour of the lemon juice when you drizzle it over the broccoli while still hot. I tried it once with steamed broccoli and it didn’t absorb the lemon juice at all. It’s the “secret” that makes this broccoli so amazing!
To finish it off, you just scatter with parmesan and lemon zest. Sometimes I forgo the parmesan. But the lemon zest is a must!
SO DAMN DELICIOUS.
- 2 medium heads of broccoli (see notes)
- 2 garlic cloves , finely sliced or finely chopped
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , separated
- 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to your taste)
- Black pepper
- Zest of half a lemon
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Cut broccoli into florets and piled onto baking tray.
Drizzle with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, scatter with garlic, salt and pepper. Use your fingers to toss, then spread out over tray in a single layer (or use tongs or massage in a large ziplock bag). Adjust salt to your taste.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the tips of the florets are slightly browned. The broccoli should be "tender crisp", meaning just cooked through, not overcooked and floppy.
Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle over the lemon juice and remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss to combine. Scatter over lemon zest and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
1. You need enough broccoli florets to fill a baking tray in a single layer. The broccoli shrinks while baking.
2. Reserve the stalks to use in stir fries or finely dice them and use in soups, fried rice, casseroles or even hide them in things like pasta sauces.
3. Please don't cut down on the oil. You simply won't get the caramelisation when roasting!