Continuing my quest to find great tasting food that has high nutritional values, I decided to tackle a personal nemesis last night - broccoli. Whilst I don't dislike broccoli, it's hardly up there in my top ten ingredients either, and aside from smothering it in cheese sauce, I've never really found a way to cook it that makes it taste of ... well ... anything.
That aside, as I have started my research into nutritious food types and broccoli sits firmly at the top of the list of so called superfoods, full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and dietary fibres. So when it came to fridge raiding to find an accompaniment for roast chicken and potatoes, the obvious choice was the large portion of broccoli in the veg compartment. I just couldn't face it steamed or boiled though, and through sheer desperation to inject some resemblance of flavour into its florets, I opened the laptop, and googled the cry for help "interesting things to do with broccoli"!
What I discovered was the following recipe from US food author Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa. Several reviews and comments all appeared to be unanimous in hailing this recipe as the best broccoli dish ever, the version I came across was on the Food Network, I made a few tweaks due to the ingredients I had in the house, and it honestly lived up to the internet hype...
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Approx 350 grams broccoli
2 teaspoons crushed garlic (or 2 cloves)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
zest and a squeeze of juice from one small lemon
40 grams fresh parmesan, finely grated
- Pre-heat the oven to around 180 degrees.
- Cut the broccoli florets away from the main stem, and arrange flat on a baking tray.
- Mix together the garlic, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and then drizzle evenly over the broccoli florets.
- Roast in the oven for around 20 minutes, turning over in the oil mixture halfway through.
- The broccoli is ready when the edges start to colour brown and crisp up.
- Transfer the roasted broccoli to a large bowl, add the lemon zest and parmesan, squeeze over around a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and toss lightly to evenly coat all the florets.
- Serve and enjoy!
I found that the garlic and lemon flavours in particular worked really well with the broccoli, but the revelation for me was the taste and texture of the broccoli having been roasted rather than steamed or boiled. It retained much more crunch and firmness, plus none of those precious nutrients can escape in the water - I will definitely be roasting broccoli from now onwards!
I am entering this recipe into a few challenges this month, as it was so delicious I wanted to share it with as many people as possible!
Firstly, Credit Crunch Munch, run by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours, and hosted this month by Anneli at Delicieux. I am entering this because the dish was quick and easy and used just store cupboard ingredients and broccoli that needed using up.
I am also entering into Made with Love Mondays hosted by Mark at Javelin Warrior, as it is completely made from scratch, with fresh ingredients.
I'm also going to take a punt, and enter this into Random Recipes run by Dom over at Belleau Kitchen. In the random recipe challenge, Dom ask participants to gather all their recipe books together and select a recipe at random. I don't really have a many books at all, and those I do are either for bread or cake decorating, however I'm hoping that the random google search that led me to this recipe will count? Plus, I really think that this dish fits the Healthy and Happy theme to a T!