Friday, April 8, 2011

The Zen of Roasting

I will be the first in line for a kick in the rear if the question is Would you like some steamed broccoli or a kick in the rear? I have complained before that I find the vegetable offensive. Bitter and offensive. I don't mind it in a stir fry and I don't mind it raw dipped in ranch dressing. But steamed or sauteed - gross.

And then I found roasting.

I could eat broccoli all day with this recipe: 1 lb. broccoli, 3T olive oil, 1/2 tsp. each of salt and sugar, yes, sugar. Put a sheet pan in the oven as you preheat to 500. Mix the broccoli with those flavorings, settle onto sheet pan, and roast on the bottom rack for 9-11 minutes depending on how large your broccoli chunks are. You can dress it up with minced garlic, fennel seed, a squeeze of lemon once out of the oven, too.

Naturally, the broccoli stem is immune from contempt. That is the best part of the broccoli. Peel off the outer skin and munch on it raw. I don't understand how the flowerets can be so bitter while the stem is sweet and mild. Hm. Actually, it has to do with the nutrients collecting in the head where the flower will form, doesn't it. All that bitterness is an indicator of the stuff that is good for your body. I do find it offensive when I see all those poor, severed broccoli heads at the market. Where are the stems? Please don't tell me they were thrown out.
Ditto for the cauliflower - the fact that I find it offensive, that is. The only way I used to accept cauliflower was raw and with ranch dressing. Now, I roast it.

Preheat to 425. Put flowerets on sheet pan, pour over 3-5 T olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and roast for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of your chunks and how roasted you like your cauliflower. I like mine a very dark brown.


  1. wow, I would never have thought to roast either of these vegetables... but I can totally see the appeal... nice one Debbie and thanks!

  2. The great caramelization plus the maintenance of texture make both vegetables superb out of the oven!

  3. Roasting vegetables, especially cauliflwoer and broccoli sure is a tasty way of eating and appreciating them. I'm really liking this as it appeals to me.

  4. Yes, Mangocheeks, I find roasting is great for so many vegetables. I have even roasted zucchini and green beans and they are marvelous!