Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli (aka Best Broccoli EVER)

Personally, I thoroughly enjoy broccoli. My family...not so much. My husband will eat it when I make homemade cheese sauce for him to drown it in but my children don't care much for it even with the cheesy goodness on top. Then I found Ina's recipe and fell in love with roasted broccoli. And so did my family!
I feel like I need to make twice as much as I think I need for a meal simply because it's impossible for me not to snitch a helping (or two) when I pull it out of the oven! This seriously could be the main course on its own. Try it for yourself and let me know how everyone likes it!

(I'll post the recipe as found on Ina's food network page but be sure to scroll down to my notes to see how I've adapted it to work for me.) 

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

  • 4 to 5 pounds broccoli
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Good olive oil
  • 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
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)


Preheat the 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 5 tablespoons 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 with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

I'm the type to look at a recipe to get the general idea then go on to do my own thing and "eyeball" a lot of it. This is one of those recipes that's forgiving and easy to eyeball without messing it up.
  • Typically I use about two heads of broccoli and two or three garlic cloves. 
  • I don't have kosher salt on hand so I use either regular or cracked sea salt. 
  • Freshly ground pepper is a must. At least in my household.
  • I've yet to actually measure the lemon zest for this recipe but it definitely adds a lot of flavor so you don't want to leave it or the lemon juice out. I usually just zest a whole lemon and squeeze half the lemon (or more) over the broccoli when it comes out of the oven.
  • I've not had pine nuts or fresh basil on hand so I've omitted that. I'm sure it's delicious and will add them should I ever have them available when making this recipe.
  • Freshly grated (or bagged) Parmesan is crucial. That powder stuff won't cut it. 
  • In the broccoli pictured above, I actually used mozzarella because I was fresh out of Parmesan. It was still great, so don't put off trying this broccoli if you're just missing the Parmesan. You will want to try it again with it to get the full effect of how wonderful this dish is!
  • The only downside I've found to preparing our broccoli this way is that I never have leftovers to freeze and use later for homemade broccoli cheese soup!
 I hope you and yours will enjoy this recipe as much as we have!

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