Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan and Marcona Almonds

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ok yes, admittedly I'm using the Parmesan a bit lately. But I still have a shitload left over from Parmageddon at my local Whole Foods, so I'm trying to work through it all...

The latest fabulous side dish created was this recipe involving broccoli! Yes, I said broccoli. Now here's the deal: even if you don't like broccoli per se, it's probably because you haven't been eating properly prepared broccoli. Chances are it's been overcooked, which basically tastes like shit. Steamed -- boring. Tossed in ubiquitous Asian sauce with protein -- overly done. Give roasting the broccoli a try, and if you still hate it then I can't help you.

Based on a fabulous recipe by Ina Garten, I use her super simple technique of tossing fresh broccoli (do NOT use frozen for this!) I cut into florets in some olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, then roasting in the oven for a super quick 15 minutes. The broccoli becomes tender but still holds good shape, and the edges begin to caramelize into this gorgeous, slightly crunchy nutty flavored goodness. I toss the still-warm broccoli with some fresh garlic and a little zest of lemon, then top with a heap of freshly grated parmesan and some irresistible Marcona almonds for crunch. This is great with any protein as a side dish (think grilled meats or roasted chicken), or even on its own!

Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan and Marcona Almonds
2 heads broccoli
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove, very extremely thinly sliced
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 - 1/3 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp marcona almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (425 if less powerful).

Take the broccoli and cut off the tops into florets; you can also slice the stem into bite-sized pieces or discard (or save to make broccoli soup). Toss in olive oil -- enough to coat but not be soggy -- and season with salt and pepper. Lay out on a baking sheet and pop in oven. Roast until tender, and edges are beginning to caramelize, about 15 minutes. You'll want to shake the pan and turn the broccoli at least once during cooking.

Remove from oven and place in a large mixing bowl. Immediately add the garlic, zest, and about half of the cheese and toss well to combine. Turn out into a serving plate and add remaining cheese for garnish along with the almonds sprinkled on top. Serve immediately.

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