Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lemon and Almond Roasted Broccoli

Honestly, I'm not a huge broccoli fan. For some bizarre reason I feel that someone like me, who will happily eat almost anything green, should be in love with this cruciferous vegetable. Not the case at all. Don't get me wrong, I'll voluntarily eat cooked broccoli occasionally, especially if my palate is distracted by other ingredients in the dish. Heck, I'll even stomach it raw if it's the only vessel for, say, some hummus. Mostly though, when I eat mini-trees I'm thinking "Nom, nom, vitamin C, A, calcium, iron..." not "Mmmm, tasty". However, there is one preparation that brings fire to my otherwise chilly relationship with broccoli. It's so tasty that it makes me lick my chops... and my plate if nobody's looking.

When Austin and I first moved in together, I would often come home to find dinner on the table (sadly, it's a rare event these days, in part because I've taken over the kitchen). One of those nights, Google had led him to a Barefoot Contessa recipe for roasted broccoli and, probably not knowing how I felt about it, he decided to make it. I'm glad he didn't ask my opinion on his choice of side, because if he had I probably would have never discovered that broccoli can be delicious. Since that night when broccoli and I found our happy place, I've modified the recipe and am more in love with it than ever. Thank you BFC, for showing me all of broccoli's potential.

Lemon and Almond Roasted Broccoli
Makes about 3 servings
Adapted from Ina Garten's (or Barefoot Contessa's) Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
  • 6 cups small broccoli florets
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons basil cut into a fine chiffonade
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine the broccoli, garlic, almonds, lemon zest, salt, pepper and oil in a baking dish. Toss until the broccoli is evenly coated. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the broccoli is fork tender and the nuts are fragrant.
2.  Add the lemon juice and basil to the broccoli, tossing it once again to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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