I am really not a fan of boiled vegetables. Broccoli I can take with a little bit of blanching, but brussels sprouts just don’t taste that good when you have boiled them (and they go a little slimy), whereas when they are fried or roasted they are wonderful. I have to admit, however, while I am big on frying my brussels sprouts and asparagus, until now I had not done much with broccoli other than boiling them for the shortest period of time I could. I got this recipe from the Amatuer Gourmet (the food blogger who first got me into food blogging) who in turn got it from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics. I think the original recipe was for more broccoli than I used, so I have tried to modify it accordingly (I made mine a little too salty, but will reduce the amount of salt in the recipe so you don’t have the same problems), but essentially this is very close to the original.
The Barefoot Contessa’s Parmesan Broccoli
(Serves 2-3 as a side-dish)
3 smallheads of broccoli
4 cloves of garlic (or less – I couldn’t bring myself to reduce the quantity)
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lemon (you will need half the zest, and less than half the juice)
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup (or a little less) of finely grated parmesan
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade (425 degrees fahrenheit). Cut broccoli into large florets and peel and slice the garlic cloves. Line a medium baking tray (or casserole dish – something large enough that the broccoli isn’t piled up) with aluminium foil. Place the broccoli on the foil, pour over oil, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt (less if that looks like it is going to be a lot), and evenly grind black pepper over the top. Toss together making sure that all the broccoli gets covered in oil. Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until there are browned patches on the broccoli.
While the broccoli is baking, place pine nuts in a non-stick frying pan (actually it is fine to use a frying pan that is not non-stick, so long as you keep an eye on it) without anything else. Place this over medium heat to dry-toast pine nuts, shaking about regularly so they do not burn. When they are browned and smelling delicious, take off the heat and put to one side.
Take the broccoli out of the oven and add the finely grated parmesan, finely grate in the zest of half a lemon, queeze a bit less than the juice of half a lemon and mix through. Toss in the toasted pine nuts and serve.