You Have to Roast Your Broccoli
I was in a dark mood and wanted to make the broccoli look menacing. Why? Because I detest broccoli. In the last few years I’ve gotten myself to eat the stuff about once a week, since it’s so fucking good for me. But, bletch – same for its abhorrent cousins, cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts. When I saw that they had identified a gene that made some people be able to detect an enzyme in many vegetables, and those people invariably hated it, I felt vindicated. They demonstrated it to a classroom of kids, maybe 8 years old, and their parents. Some of the parents said their kids hated vegetables, and they were kind of giving the kids dirty looks – looks I recognized. Then the kids got a taste of the enzyme, which is tasteless to everyone else, and they all instantly made the same face – the Yuck Face. I saw this, and I wanted to yell “Ha!” at someone. I’ll bet my sister has it, too.
But I’m getting my revenge. I slowly learned a few things that made it at least bearable. I peeled it. I had to cook it perfectly. The fresher, the better. Salt or tamari helped. Then I had a Brussels Sprouts revelation at an Italian restaurant, asked the waiter how to make them, and cooked them at home a couple of times until they were perfect.That’s this recipe here, Browned Brussels Sprouts. The next thing that happened was I saw that you could roast broccoli. That sounded really promising, so I tried it. Voila. I like that broccoli. That was my last trick – you have to roast your broccoli. And then put lemon juice on it. I actually look forward to it.
Promise me something. If you make your kids eat their broccoli, make it as palatable as possible. Promise me you’ll do that.
This preparation is on a list I’m doing of 7 vegetable dishes that are as easy to prepare as they are delicious – upcoming post. If you don’t have to peel your broccoli, there is nothing to it. And if you already like broccoli, you are going to flip for this.
3/4 cup broccoil florets, cleaned and dried*
Approx. 2 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper
Crushed red chili flakes, optional
1 wedge lemon
Parmesan cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 350
Put broccoli in shallow baking dish or cookie sheet, and sprinkle with salt & pepper and chili flakes, if using. Drizzle olive oil over broccoli and toss to mix and coat with oil. The oil won’t cover everything, so don’t worry trying to get it all even. Arrange in single layer and bake in center of oven for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on how big the pieces are and how done you want them. Serve with lemon and some shaved Parmesan cheese. You can use a peeler to shave it – it comes out great.
*And peeled. Ha, just kidding.
Date: July 1, 2011