Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

I wish I had my parents’ problem. They have broccoli coming out of their ears. Their garden is producing so much they can’t keep up.

Maybe next spring I’ll plant my own. But for now, I’m finding it at farmers’ markets. It was piled high at the Webster Groves market on Thursday and made a strong showing this morning at Tower Grove. A couple of months ago, when broccoli was not in season, I bought a few pounds at the store and made this flavor-burst of a side dish. I wanted to try it again when broccoli is at its best, and that’s now.  Of the myriad recipes that highlight broccoli, I dare say this ranks near the top.

Here it’s tossed with olive oil and sliced garlic. Toasted pine nuts are added, along with lemon zest, lemon juice, basil leaves and a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I use more olive oil than the original recipe calls for. Reduce it if you’d like. And if you’re shy about lemon, reduce the amount of juice just slightly.

The broccoli becomes slightly brown in the oven. It’s supposed to do that. The garlic also gets brown and crispy. Roast it in the upper part of the oven to avoid too much browning.

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

4 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
6 tablespoons, plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided (recipe calls for 5 tablespoons, but I use quite a bit more)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (see note)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (12-14 leaves)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts and Parmesan. Serve hot.

Serves 6.

*** To toast pine nuts, place them in a small skillet and cook over low heat, tossing or stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until nuts are slightly brown.


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