The Sweet and Savory Life
The benefits of eating broccoli are multifold: it is a good source of vitamins including K and C, it’s full of calcium, and it is anti-inflammatory to name a few. At one time in my life, even knowing these health benefits, I couldn’t bring myself to eat broccoli. I painstakingly learned to eat raw florets on salads as I got older, but cooked broccoli remained too mushy and was usually served smothered in too much cheese sauce.
Then one day I was introduced to broccoli stir-fried in garlic sauce. This broccoli maintained its crunch and its appetizing bright green color instead of the soggy and washed-out look I was used to seeing served. This inspired me to experiment at home to learn how to make a good-tasting broccoli dish. I started by cooking broccoli in broth instead of water and being careful not to cook out the crunch.
Then, I tried roasting broccoli in the oven and found that it had a different taste from both boiling and stir-frying. With all these delicious ways to cook broccoli under my belt, I was hooked on this superfood!
This roasted broccoli recipe is one that I have used over and over because it is always so well received. Someone asks me for the recipe every time I serve it. It is easy and quick to make, tastes great, and even has the broccoli-averse giving it a try!
Roasted Broccoli with Pecans
Prep time, 10 minutes;
Cooking time, 15 minutes;
- 4 heads broccoli, washed and cut into florets
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Directions for Broccoli
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place broccoli in a large baking dish or a jelly roll pan with sides and toss with oil, pepper, and salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until browned.
Directions for Pecans
- In a skillet, place the pecan pieces and cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until they start to brown. Turn off the heat and place butter in the skillet and let it melt. Stir to coat the pecans.
- When the broccoli comes out of the oven, drizzle the melted butter and pecans over the broccoli and stir to coat. Serve immediately.
Sweet and Savory Hints
- This recipe is best when served right out of the oven.
- Broccoli shrinks when roasted so what looks like a lot of florets before cooking will be a lot less after roasting.
- For less browned broccoli, reduce cooking time to 12 minutes.
- The broccoli browns better when placed in a single layer in the cooking pan.
- For ease of preparation, cut up the broccoli and pecans a day ahead of time and store each in their own plastic bag.
- For a spicy kick, sprinkle red pepper flakes over the cooked broccoli and stir.
- If using salted butter, reduce the salt amount to 1 teaspoon.