A Side of Broccoli (with a Twist)

We eat a lot of veggies around here. Some, such as broccoli and sweet potatoes, everyone will generally eat without complaint. Others, like string beans or cooked carrots require a bit of cajoling. But even I, the broccoli lover of all broccoli lovers gets tired of the same old steamed version week after week.

Faced with the prospect of another boring broccoli side dish I took to the internet to find something better. It turns out that roasting was the answer I was searching for! I discovered that most every celebrity chef seemed to have a roasted broccoli recipe; including Martha, Ina and Alton, but that no one recipe seemed quite perfect. So as I am known to do, I did a bit of tweaking, took a little something from each recipe and came up with a version of my own.

My Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon was delicious! It turned ordinary broccoli into something fresh and interesting. Roasting really mellowed the broccoli flavor, the finely minced garlic caramelized and became mild and sweet and finishing the dish off with the lemon juice and zest really gave it a fresh clean bite.

After this tasty version I’m not sure my family will never settle for plain ‘ol steamed broccoli again. But then I guess I only have myself to blame…

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon
My family is crazy about garlic so I added quite a bit. However if yours
is not, feel free to cut back on it.

broccoli4

2 pounds broccoli crowns
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
5 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the minced garlic and salt. Let the garlic seep and flavor the oil while you prep the broccoli.
  3. Cut the broccoli florets from the large stalks and separate into bite size pieces. Peal the remaining stalks and cut them into bite size pieces as well.
  4. Place all the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil/garlic/salt mixture. Spread the broccoli out on a sided sheet pan large enough to hold it in a single layer.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of of the florets have begun to brown and caramelize.
  6. While the broccoli is roasting quickly toast the Panko crumbs in a skillet, being careful not to burn them. Set aside.
  7. When the broccoli is finished roasting sprinkle it with the lemon zest, grated cheese, Panko crumbs and lemon juice. Give it a gentle toss and serve.
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