Ask a diet guru and they’ll tell you that the best way to cook your broccoli is with steam, but here’s the thing: when diet gurus say best, what they really mean is lowest calorie. When the rest of us say best, we mean best. As in: tastiest, yummiest, most enjoyable. And categorically, the tastiest, yummiest, most enjoyable, the best tasting broccoli in the world, universe and for the history of all time is roasted. Got that? Roast your broccoli, don’t steam it. But why? First, the high heat from roasting caramelizes broccoli’s natural sugars, taking the edge off any bitterness. And while it’s true that roasting requires the use of oil, and costs more calories than steaming, it’s also true that oil adds flavour. Enjoy the following recipe as is or tossed with pesto and pasta for a delicious main dish.
Basic roasted broccoli
- 1 large head of broccoli washed, cut and thoroughly dried
- olive oil to coat
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Wash and thoroughly dry and cut the broccoli.
- Remove the hard rind from the stem and slice into rounds; cut the florets into bite-sized pieces.
- In a bowl, toss the broccoli with olive oil. Add oil as needed, ensuring each piece is thoroughly coated, then sprinkle with salt.
- Empty the bowl onto a shallow non-stick roasting pan, and spread evenly.
- Roast for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the broccoli begins to brown. (Cooking times will vary depending on your oven and the size of your florets; take a peek midway and adjust accordingly).
- Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and 2 cloves finely minced garlic before roasting. Once the broccoli is cooked, return to a bowl and toss it in freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese to taste. Add pine nuts for extra crunch factor.
- Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast before roasting for a cheesy tasting, vegan treat (find nutritional yeast at your local bulk or health food store).
- Add 2 tablespoons of Sriracha hot sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon if brown sugar or honey plus 2 cloves minced garlic before roasting for a spicy Asian variation.
What’s your favourite way to dress roasted broccoli?