Once in a very great while, going to the grocery store while hungry is a good idea.
If I hadn’t been hungry, I would not have noticed these broccoli crowns. They were just sitting there, in unassuming mounds of bristly green, looking for all the world as if a giant hand had scooped out a patch of earth from one of the tree-covered hills that surround us here in the Willamette Valley. But the contrast of the bright orange sale sticker and the robust green of the broccoli caught my hungry eye, and I thought, “Why not?”
Why not indeed? I am always looking for something my youngest girl will reliably eat; getting vegetables into her is always a challenge. When I saw the broccoli, I remembered how much she liked the roasted broccoli I made from this recipe. I decided I’d make it again.
Despite my plan to remake the dish, there is something just slightly fickle in me that refuses to ever make a dish the exact same way. Since I was just cooking to be cooking, rather than cooking for the blog (ha, I’m certain every food blogger has said this at one point), I figured I’d just tinker, leave my version in my memory, and go on my merry way.
You see that crust on the edges of the broccoli? Those caramel-colored crusty tips? That, my friends, is the intersection of health and heaven. When I pull the trays of broccoli out of the oven, that crust is what I look for first. That bit that always makes me snatch the tiniest florets right off the hot-hot-HOT pan, heat be damned, because I cannot wait: I’ve just got to eat it. right. this. second.
Sigh. Just thinking about it makes me want more.
Roasted vegetables, as I mentioned the other day, are perfect with a light dressing of infused oil. Since I had just made rosemary oil, that was what I used: the contrast of tangy lime with the deep piney flavor of rosemary is sublime. A generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast adds a cheesy tang, making this dish perfect for vegans and the dairy-intolerant. If you do eat dairy, try this with a grated hard cheese like Grana Padano.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 pounds broccoli crowns
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons herb oil
- 1 lime, sliced in half
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Break apart broccoli florets; lay them on two cookie sheets. Sprinkle each tray with salt, pepper, and olive oil; massage the oil onto the florets to coat.
- Place the cookie sheets into the oven, roast the broccoli until it is fork-tender and the tips are brown and crusty (about 30 minutes). Remove from oven.
- When cool enough to handle, scootch broccoli into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, then toss. Add herb oil and toss, then squeeze the juice of one-half lime over the broccoli; toss again. (If desired, use the other half as well.)
- Serve immediately.