Broccoli is my favorite vegetable. I know, I sound so earnest. I didn’t say it was my favorite food, just my favorite vegetable. But I do love it so.
To be even more annoying, allow me to tell you that my favorite way to eat it is simply steamed, with a squeeze of lemon and a good shower of salt. Cheesy sauces and gratins are all well and good, but not for broccoli. Not for my broccoli.
A few months ago I was at a trendy bar in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle called Black Bottle. I was with some friends and we were trying to decide on some nibbles from what was a very appealing menu. Our server told us we had to try the “blasted” broccoli which I scoffed at. I know how I like my broccoli, thank you very much. Over the course of the few hours we were there, I saw that very dish on almost every table in the place.
Recently, I came across the recipe for this same “blasted” broccoli in one of my food magazines. I made dinner for a friend with a new baby a couple of nights ago, and wanted to bring a simple side dish. I figured it was time to try this one. I am totally smitten with roasted cauliflower, why not broccoli?
I’m here to tell you that roasted – it’s really great. This is a good recipe, something to make when you want to make broccoli but want to dress it up a little bit. The broccoli itself caramelized, much as cauliflower does, and the garlic gets nice and toasty too. The whole dish gets a little kick from the red pepper flakes. Want more kick? Add more red pepper. Just like roasted cauliflower, you will want to season this dish well and allow it time enough in oven to get nice and toasty brown. UPDATE 1-18-12 – I’ve made this a million times since I posted about it and have also eaten it at Black Bottle. I changed things around in the recipe and the one I posted below reflects those changes.
One Year Ago: Green Goddess Salad with Romaine, Cucumbers, and Avocado
Adapted from Black Bottle
1 1/4 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into florets (about 8 cups)
3 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place broccoli in a large baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and then sprinkle with a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Roast 15 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and sprinkle with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Roast until broccoli is beginning to brown, about 5-8 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.