Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a major foodie, with a haphazard cooking philosophy, currently making that transition from cooking and baking for friends and family to 'wonder if I could make this my career'. Follow me for recipes, the outcomes of a few experiments, and general lovely foodiness. Opinions, reviews and recommendations are all my own.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Possibly the Best Broccoli Dish Ever...

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


Ingredients...

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

To make...

  • 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! 


20 comments:

  1. I like broccoli, but like most people I've only ever steamed or boiled it. I will definitely be trying out roasting it after reading this! Roasted carrots are a good one too!

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    1. I never knew what to pair it with before either but the garlic, lemon etc is great, almost like pesto flavours over the broccoli...

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  2. I think this is perfectly valid and actually a great way to chose a random recipe especially if you don't have that many cookbooks... and anyway, what a glorious recipe you ended up with, I adore broccoli and a dish like this will surely help me on a speedy recovery. Thanks so much for entering this month, lovely to have fresh blood on board!

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    1. Thanks Dom! Glad it counts, I love reading the Random Recipe challenges but this was the first chance I had to enter. Hope to be a regular feature from now on! Hope you get better real quick!

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  3. Roasted broccoli - how very interesting! I am also a bit 'meh' about broccoli most of the time but this does sound very tasty. I love it when broccoli has a bit of crunch so roasting it sounds like the perfect way to do it. Thanks for entering this into Credit Crunch Munch x

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    1. Thanks Anneli! I always try and enter CCM as most of what I make is done on a budget anyways! I must admit I'm a bit 'meh'about most veggies, and usually get around that by smothering them in cheese, but this is definitley a healthier, and arguably even tastier way of dressing them up!

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  4. I've never thought about roasting broccoli before, I usually just give it a quick boil and that's it. This is a really interesting idea though. Quite often when I'm home alone when the bloke is working late shifts I never know what to have and resort to cheesy pasta. I think a big bowl of this with some homemade bread would be a much better alternative.

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    1. I think you might be right there! I usually cook it out of a feeling of duty, and then we end up pushing it around the plate at the end of the meal - yesterday we ate a whole broccoli between two of us and it was the first thing gone - could easily eat it as a meal on it's own.

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  5. Delicious and good for you, I love making vegetables the star of the show. Thanks so much for entering CCM!

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    1. Thanks Helen! Always a pleasure ;-)

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  6. I have to agree with you, I think this is one of the best ways to have broccoli - the only thing I didn't care for when I tried a recipe similar to this was the lemon juice. But I think that's a personal preference. Very tasty!

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    1. Thanks Mark! I think when we had it I added a touch too much lemon, and have toned down the quantities for the post and recipe above. I loved it, my other half found it a little too lemony, but said he would eat it again with a little less lemon. It's almost like a pesto base when all the ingredients are combined really .. Yum!

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  7. What a fab sounding recipe which I really have to try. I never boil broccoli and always steam it as it's so easy to over cook otherwise and yes all the nutrients leach out of it otherwise. Thank you for entering a great new way to cook broccoli into Credit Crunch Munch:-)

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    1. Thanks Camilla! I'm on a mission now to jazz up other veggies too! :-)

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  8. I LOVE LOVE roasted broc (& cauliflower) and this looks like a great twist so I'll definitely try it!

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    1. Thanks sweetie, hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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  9. That does sound exceedingly good - might have to get some broccoli tomorrow!

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  10. This looks SO good and so simple to do!!

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    1. Thanks Alex! And yes, simple and so so tasty!

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