Monday, January 9, 2012

Choppin' Broccoli

Back in the 80s we entertained ourselves with hair spray, some fantastically happy dance music, VHS tapes, and this little Saturday Night Live snippet:

Because if you're going for a big recording contract, you'd better bring it with the broccoli, yo.

The past few months have been rough and I could use some happy dance music, or happy anything, right about now. [brings back of hand to forehead, sighs dramatically] So thank goodness a) we have a radio in the kitchen and b) I've suddenly remembered that the kitchen is more than "the place where I keep the bananas."

TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW we had a real dinner at home (and I had the third at Cutie's house). We faux-breaded trout and had - did you notice the foreshadowing? - roasted broccoli. The original intent was to try a fab-looking recipe for broccoli & sun-dried tomatoes, but I pulled off a trifecta of forgetting to get sun-dried tomatoes for three consecutive shopping trips. [blushes modestly].

Having established already that broccoli and tomatoes go together, and that Parmesan goes with both broccoli and tomatoes, and there was half a container of cherry tomatoes that had about 6 hours of usability left, I halved the tomatoes and threw them in. I'm going to call it 1 cup in the recipe but, really, any amount (or none at all) will work.

based on Ina Garten's Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

2 or 3 heads of broccoli - 2 pounds-ish
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt & pepper
1/3 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (yes, freshly grated. It is one of life's true and affordable pleasures to have fresh Parmesan and not the parmesan dust in the green can. Trust me.)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Cut the head(s) of broccoli into clusters of florets, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached.
3. Put the florets on a baking sheet large enough to hold the broccoli, garlic, and tomatoes in a single layer. Drizzle 1 TBSP vegetable or olive oil over the veggies & garlic - toss to coat all veggies [2 notes - first, I usually line the pan with aluminum foil for faster clean-up. Two, combining oil and veggies is easier in a smallish bowl than on a big baking sheet. It dirties another dish, but it does a much better job of coating the vegetables so that they don't burn.]
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Roast for 20 - 25 minutes, until florets are crisp-tender. They will be a little browned.
6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and toss veggies with Parmesan. A sprinkle & a stir, then again, then again helps distribute the Parmesan and keeps it from melting into clumps.

We had this with fish, but it would work well with chicken, pork roast or pork chops (especially if they have oregano), or pasta with red sauce. Enjoy!


Cynthia said...

Awesome video to post with the late, great Phil Hartman. He was such a great straight man. Oh, and the recipe looks good too.

Tara said...

Welcome back Stinky Cheese! You've been missed. And, choppin broccoli holds a special place in my heart. Always good for a smile.