For the past few years, I have tried to include broccoli in my diet twice a week. I have mostly failed in this endeavor, which is ridiculous because I really and truly like broccoli. I think the problem is that the most common preparation (steaming) does little to bring out the vegetable’s je ne sais quoi. Whenever I eat steamed broccoli it ends up feeling a bit like a force-feeding, which is no way to live.
This week, I bring you two delightful and different broccoli recipes. The first is roasted in a hot oven until the florets begin to brown and crisp and the other is steamed and then tossed with a provocatively lemony pesto. There is still time to make your quota this week!
Oven Crisped Broccoli with Garlic and Chili Flakes:
1 large bunch broccoli, cut into florets
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
a pinch of chili flakes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the broccoli out onto a sheet pan and toss with the oil, garlic, chili flakes and a generous pinch of salt. Use your hands and mix thoroughly so that all the broccoli and garlic is well coated with the oil. Place in to oven and roast for 12-16 minutes or until most of the florets are beginning to brown. Serve immediately or refrigerate – this broccoli is delicious cold!
Broccoli with Lemony Pesto:
*You will need a food processor for this recipe*
1 large bunch broccoli, washed and cut into florets
1 medium bunch basil (8-10 healthy stems), leaves only
juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts
A nice one inch chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, cut into a few pieces (or about 3 Tbsp. grated)
1/4 C. olive oil
S & P
Prepare a steamer for the broccoli and salt the steaming water. Steam the broccoli for 3-4 minutes and place into a large bowl. While the broccoli cools slightly, make the pesto. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and puree, scraping down the sides a few times as necessary. If the pesto is too thick and is sticking to the sides of the processor, add a little water through the feed tube, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until the pesto begins to freely spin. Taste for salt and then toss all of the pesto with the warm broccoli.