I've been making a concerted effort to eat more vegetables this year. I'm also trying to eat these vegetables without a whole lot of other stuff covering them up, because that kinds of defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it?
I actually like vegetables, so it's not like this is a huge challenge. I'm just trying to eat more of them, as well as a varied amount of vegetables. One in particular I have never really liked is broccoli. The only way I choked it down in high school was with 47,000 cups of melted Cheez-Wiz on top. So, yeah. Not exactly an option for me now.
But broccoli is inexpensive, and something I feel like I should like. I finally found ways to make cauliflower that doesn't make me gag. So, I think it's time for me to find a way to make broccoli and enjoy it.
So, I put a little something out on Twitter the other night:
And boy, did the responses fly on in. Tons of great ideas, most of which involved roasting the broccoli in olive oil, salt and pepper, and various other seasonings (cumin, red pepper flakes, curry powder, etc.) There were lots of variations and combinations. SO many great ideas.
So, I started with the basics and wanted to see what broccoli tasted like if I roasted it at a high temperature in just olive oil, salt, and pepper. Oh, and garlic, because you can't go wrong with garlic. And shallots. Because I had them here. So here's what I did:
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets; tossed in a bowl with a generous amount of olive oil and kosher salt; more ground pepper than you might ordinarily do; 3 cloves of garlic, chopped; one small shallot lobe, chopped. And a teaspoon of duck fat. Because everything is better with duck fat. (but seriously, you can do this without duck fat; I just happened to have it on hand)
I put this mixture onto a foil-lined baking sheet and roasted it in a 425F-degree oven for 30 minutes. While it was roasting, I noticed I had some leftover deep-fried almonds from the "Porcini, cherry, toasted garlic, almond" dish. So, I chopped those, and used them to top the broccoli when it came out of the oven.
I also shaved some pecorino-romano on top. And, I sprinkled the last of the ham powder from that Porcini dish, too.
And, you guys?
I now really, really, really like broccoli:
The heads got all dark brown, crispy, and toasty. The stalky part was crunchy and delicious. Didn't taste like broccoli at all. You know what I mean, right? Like, you know how farty and pungent broccoli can taste when you just steam it or blanch it? Yeah, that. This tasted NOTHING LIKE THAT, and I now love broccoli, and I'll be buying it every week and doing variations on this theme.
And, for dessert?
MORE LEFTOVERS from the Porcini dish!
Leftover almond milk ice cream and some wine-soaked pineapple chunks, a little bit of 2% milk, and a handful of ice cubes. Whacked it in the blender for 30 seconds.
A fruity, smooth, nutty milkshake.
Alinea leftovers are awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome...