Broccoli and I go way back. Its held my heart in its delicious green hands for years. I may have the occasional fling with a bunch of brussell sprouts or fall prey to the allure of an eggplant now and then, but broccoli is my vegetable soul mate. Its my dependable dinner-time staple, delicious as a vehicle for a fancy sauce, or all on its own.
My go-to basic roasted broccoli recipe is inspired by a side dish at my favorite NYC cafe, ‘sNice. In college, I spent many winter nights at a corner table in their west village location sipping a glass of earl grey tea and munching on this broccoli while I studied. I like it best served hot, but it’s also good cold on top of salads or in wraps. This recipe is nothing special, but that’s what makes it so wonderful. It’s subtle enough to act as a side dish to a heartier entree, but bold enough to stand up as a main dish when mixed with lentils or chickpeas and served with your favorite grain.
Garlicky Roasted Broccoli
4 cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground coarse black pepper
1/2 – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust according to spice preference)
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with the olive oil to coat. Add spices and garlic and toss again until well-distributed. Spread the broccoli on a heavy duty baking sheet or large cast iron pan in a single layer. Roast in oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until the broccoli is just starting to brown (be careful not to over cook). Turn on the broiler and broil for 2 minutes. Serve hot or chilled.
While you’re waiting for your broccoli to roast, check out my friend Hayley’s video, all about the magical world of broccoli.