Dinners just got an upgrade with this side dish recipe for Parmesan and garlic Roasted fresh Broccoli, it really will be The Best Broccoli of Your Life!
This simple, yet delicious twist on one of our favorite vegetables is the perfect side dish for almost any meal.
The Benefits of Eating Broccoli
Broccoli has so many health benefits. I bet you didn’t know just how good though…
To name a few, broccoli is a good source of fiber, vitamins B6, E B1, and A. It’s a source of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, iron and niacin. And that’s not the complete list!
Needless to say, I try to eat a lot of broccoli. Now, I don’t usually post recipes that aren’t of my own creation, but this one really had to be shared…
I discovered roasted broccoli on a blog post titled, The Best Broccoli of Your Life on an amazing blog called, The Amateur Gourmet.
I read the recipe (which is a recipe by the barefoot Contessa) and thought it sounded good, but as much as I love broccoli, it’s just broccoli – how good could it be? I saved the post and moved on.
Today I had some broccoli to use so I thought I’d try it.
Let me tell you, this seriously is the best broccoli of my life!
Ina Garten uses 4 to 5 pounds of broccoli which I thought would be way too much for a side dish, but boy was I wrong!
It may seem like a lot of broccoli, but it shrinks while roasting. Plus, it’s so good that it goes fast!
Why this recipe works:
- Cooking broccoli in high heat, it caramelizes the outside, creating crispness and a sweet, nutty flavor.
- The crisp caramelized outside of the broccoli contrasts well with the tender inside of the florets.
- The nuttiness of the roasted garlic and broccoli combined with the saltiness of the cheese and sour lemon is fantastic combination!
Roasted Broccoli is now my new favorite way to cook broccoli!
Here’s how to make it.
Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Roast about 20 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with a bit more olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.
Serve and enjoy!
I loved this recipe so much that I’ve started creating similar recipes with other vegetables.
How to Choose The Best Broccoli
- Look for bright green broccoli with firm, strong stalks.
- Avoid woody Stems this will turn out hard and chewy when cooked.
- Don’t purchase broccoli with yellowing florets. Yellow is a sign that its gone past the stage of desirable texture.
- Choose broccoli with compact clusters in the florets. The more open the florets, the older it is.
- Top Tips: Don’t skimp on the oil (even if it seems like a lot), season well, and make sure your oven is hot before adding the broccoli.
- On washing your broccoli: After washing your broccoli, be sure to dry it thoroughly. The drier it is, the the more it will crisp up.
- For crispy results: If you want an even crisper broccoli, try flipping it half way through the roasting. It’s a time consuming task, but it crisps on all sides.
- Short on time? Make this dish even quicker by skipping the fresh garlic and replace it with garlic powder or you can do it simply with just olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Cooking for kids? I don’t know about your kids, but I have one that won’t eat anything that even resembles being burnt. This recipe does get quite crispy, so you may want to keep an eye on it and cook according to taste.
- For more texture, try add mixing the cheese with breadcrumbs and a little olive oil and sprinkle it on top before roasting.
Recipe notes: for this recipe, I went by The Barefoot Contessa’s Recipe, but omitted the pine nuts and basil because after the first taste, I just didn’t think it was needed so my recipe below won’t have it. I also made a much smaller batch, but I’ll give you her measurements of the ingredients I used.
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Seriously, The Best Broccoli of Your Life
A delicious side dish that's quick and easy to prepare and makes a great accompaniment to meat, poultry or fish.
- 4-5 pounds broccoli
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced
- Good olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 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 and Parmesan.
- Serve hot.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in 2014, but was republished with new photos (old photos below), step by step instructions and tips in June of 2018.