Thursday, March 24, 2011

A tale of broccoli.

Whenever I mention the word "broccoli" in my mother's presence, her immediate response is: "For soup?" Same answer when I put some into the shopping cart or when I look at broccoli related recipes in one of my cookbooks.
I don't know why but for my mother broccoli always translates into soup - the one with cream that is pureed until smooth. She made some a couple of weeks ago. I heard her in the kitchen. She killed that poor vegetable by boiling it for a good half an hour before blending it to the consistency of baby food.
Don't get me wrong, my mother can cook - fresh vegetables are just a little out of her comfort zone.

Broccoli Close up.

Anyway, what I wanted to make that last time I put broccoli into the shopping cart at the supermarket: Roasted Broccoli. Did you know that you can pretty much roast any vegetable?
And that it transforms said vegetables? They become crispy on the outside and sweet and tender on the inside and the whole thing takes pretty much no time.

You take some broccoli and cut it into florets (keep the stalk for - yes - soup (make a stock bag for the freezer with those kind of scraps!)). Make sure your florets are all about the same size so they cook evenly.
Drizzle some oil over them - I used sesame oil and would have added some soy sauce but I am still cooking in my mother's kitchen with my mother's things... Never mind. I didn't have soy sauce and just salted the whole thing. I also minced some garlic and added it to the pan, but that is optional.

Make sure your oven is hot. I put mine to 410°F (210°C) because you want the broccoli to cook quickly.  This way it stays crunchy and keeps it's lovely color.
Roast the broccoli for 15minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time to make sure it cooks evenly.
In the meantime you can, but no pressure, roast some sesame seeds in a dry skillet until they slightly brown (takes about a minute or two) - be careful, sesame seeds burn quickly.

I had a pound of broccoli before I removed the stems.
I didn't measure the oil (just enough to have everything coated without swimming in oil) and used one clove of garlic.

Roasted Broccoli.

When I make this again I might use olive oil instead. Maybe the zest of some lemon and definitely a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving. Toasted slivered almonds could be lovely too instead of the sesame.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny- I always, invariably make broccoli into soup. Cauliflower too, but the other day I roasted it with oil and salt- next time I'll add some garlic and lemon.

    Sesame sounds like an awesome addition, though. Thanks.