Thursday, March 10, 2011

More broccolli, please! - recipe #5

image from
With Ben and Jerry still mocking me from the trash can, I write today to redeem myself.  We really do eat healthy around here, a lot of the time.  We do.  I swear.  Last night hubby ate braised kale.  It was big of him.  Leafy greens aren't his favorite, but he's a good Dad and he eats them to set a good example for his children.  Who cares if he said, "Pass the bread, please.  I can't get this down without it."

GJ loves raw carrots best.  Sofia loves asparagus and cauliflower.  And Johnny loves broccoli, but only "woasted."  My little foodie understands the magic that a super-hot oven can perform on a humble vegetable.  The coldest, hardest and blandest of winter roots becomes tender, crisp-edged, and toasty-flavored under intense dry oven heat.

I have spent the winter roasting every vegetable I can get my hands on.  I serve them as a side dish for dinner and then the leftovers make a healthy lunch for me the next day, or an interesting add-in to a salad the next night.  Our favorites to roast are broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, and fennel.

Spring is around the corner in Maryland and my mind will soon be on asparagus and artichokes and then fresh tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers, and eggplant.  But for now it's still cold enough to want the oven on, so I plan to get my fill of roasty-toasty winter veggies in the remaining weeks of March.

Here's my method for broccoli, adapted from my Cook's Illustrated (my favorite cooking publication).  The basic technique is the same for all the veggies, by the way:  Toss in olive oil.  Add salt and pepper.  Roast on a pan in a super-hot oven until browned and tender but not mushy.

My family loves this broccoli so much that I have to double the recipe and the platter of broccoli is snarfed up like I'd served Doritos.  Or crack.   It's that yummy!

Roasted Broccoli


1 head broccolli, in large florets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
.5 teaspoon salt and fresh pepper
.5 teaspoon sugar

lemon wedges for serving


  1. Place large rimmed baking sheet in oven and heat to 500.
  2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with olive oil until well-coated.  Then add salt, pepper to taste, and sugar.
  3. Remove hot baking sheet from oven and place broccoli on it, flat sides down
  4. Roast until broccoli is browned and tender, 9 to 12 minutes.  
  5. Serve with lemon wedges.
Note: the sugar in this recipe is the Cook's Illustrated secret to carmelizing the broccoli.  You do not taste it at all.


  1. Will definitely have to try this. My crew is down with the plain steamed broccoli, but this sounds way better! I think I'd pretty much eat anything roasted with olive oil, salt & pepper. I gave up on trying to cook the greens but now Joel is a crazy green smoothie maker and everyone loves it!

  2. This is an awesome recipe. My little picky pea loves roasted broc (which I learned from you, my friend!!) and roasted cauliflower. Oh how my heart sings when I hear her demand "mo' colly-fwowuh!"