How To Roast Broccoli
Tasty, Simple, and Easy: Even Kids Love This
In my quest to eating healthier AND tastier foods, I came across this recipe. What is more accurate is that my kids learned this recipe at school, we found we all loved it, and it became even better when we tweaked it a little bit to our taste. It is cheap, quick and easy, and this oven roasted broccoli is even tasty when cold. I never expected my kids to want cold leftover broccoli with their breakfast, but it's that good.
Never would I have guessed that broccoli would become one of my families regular foods, once they look forward to, but it has!
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Not a lot needed
The ingredients are pretty simple:
Olive Oil - Good olive oil is important. Although you can use any olive oil, extra virgin is strongly recommended.It is the highest quality and tastiest. The general rule in cooking is that the fewer ingredients you use, the more important the quality of ingredients are - and we do not have many ingredients here! You can use a different kind of oil, but the taste will be MUCH different.
Garlic - You can use more or less garlic to taste. I always use whole garlic and chop it or press it with a garlic press, but it is acceptable to use prechopped garlic which you can get in small jars at the supermarket.Prechopped garlic is not as potent so you may want to use more.
Salt - Optional if you are on a low sodium diet. I prefer Kosher or sea salt, but any salt is fine.For my low sodium friends, I do not omit salt, but do limit it.
Pepper - A little pepper is nice. I fresh grind it. Some prefer to add it after cooking. You can even add some hot red pepper flakes if you'd like!
And of course, broccoli (not pictured, but read about it below).
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I haven't cooked them all yet, but the ones I have tried are excellent!
Preparing the Broccoli
You will need a pound of broccoli florets (I often double or triple this recipe, and use two or three pounds).
Broccoli florets are the "flower" part of the broccoli as opposed to the the stalk or stem. You can see them in the picture.
At most supermarkets you can buy precut broccoli florets and then further cut them into smaller bite sized or slightly larger pieces if you want or use them as is.
You can also buy whole uncut broccoli(sometimes called "Broccoli Crowns"), which are definitely cheaper, and cut them yourself. This is very easy to do and pretty quick, but it is another step. I often cut my own florets, but when squeezed on time it is often much more convenient to buy the more expensive precut florets
Combining the Ingredients
Mix 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a little black pepper in a small bowl.
I usually use 3 tablespoons of olive oil but you can use less. Although olive oil is tasty, it does have calories, about 120 per tablespoon.
You can add more garlic if you'd like also. I vary the garlic depending on what I'm serving the broccoli with. I tend to use more garlic when I am having the broccoli either alone or with very flavorful foods, and less when having the broccoli with simpler, milder foods like roast chicken for example.
You now want to mix the ingredients from the bowl with the broccoli florets. It is hard to coat them perfectly evenly, so do not bother stressing out over this step. My kids and I usually put everything into a ziplock baggie as pictured and shake and toss vigorously for a couple of minutes.
Some Helpful Cooking Accessories
Cooking The Broccoli
This is just soooo simple!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you are also cooking something else simultaneously, don't worry as I have cooked the broccoli at temperatures ranging from 325 to 450 degrees successfully!
Put the coated broccoli into a pan. I often use a baking pan or cookie sheet covered with tin foil which makes cleanup trivial.
Now simply bake it until the broccoli is just slightly browned. This usually takes between 15-20 minutes. Feel free to taste it for doneness after 15 minutes. Just carefully grab a piece and eat it!
Remove, let cool slightly, and serve. In the picture I've combined it with rack of lamb!
Variations On A Theme
This Recipe works for Other Veggies to
Of course you can use this recipe for other vegetables too! You may need to adjust the cooking time (Google is your friend here).
A few I have tried:
Potatoes: cut into smallish cubes, and slip a few times during the cooking process. These will take 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the cubes of potato. I'll sometimes add herbs also such as sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano or whatever fresh spices I have on hand.
Brussels Sprouts: Absolutely wonderful when roast this way. I cut them in half and roast them for 35 minutes. They should be fairly brown and crispy on the outside. Flip while cooking once or twice.
Cauliflower: Same as Broccoli. I never make this for myself as I dislike cauliflower, but sometimes will cook it for my friends.
Some other ideas: asparagus, beets, squash of all types, eggplant, peppers, onions and fennel.
With some veggies you might optionally parboil them so that they cook faster which less chance of burning on the grill. For example I parboil Russell Sprouts for 2 minutes beforehand.