07 March 2010

Purportedly the Best Broccoli Ever

This coming week is Spring Break.  Spring break is an interesting phenomenon in the grad school world.  Even as an undergrad, I didn't have much time to travel during the break.  However, for the last few years I've been making a point of getting out of town for the week.  This year, Derek and I are going to visit some great friends of mine in Washington, D.C. for a few days.  This means seeing some amazing historical sites, eating some great meals, and visiting some awesome people.  Unfortunately, it also means that all the food in my fridge is under threat of spoiling before I get back to town to eat it.  As much as I like traveling, I am really bad at planning ahead for it.  So, this Sunday finds me with two heads of broccoli, half a bag of spinach, quite a bit of basil and cilantro ... and several other things that I don't expect to last the week.  So, I'm looking for ways to either eat it all up or preserve it between now and Tuesday.

The spinach and basil are going into some Classic Pesto (Vegan with a Vengeance, pg 132).  Pesto freezes wonderfully, and it's really nice to have some on hand, so I think this is a perfect excuse to restock my freezer.  I've also got some fruit -- mango and pineapple most notably -- which I chopped up and froze for future smoothie making.  Thank goodness for a little bit of extra room in the freezer :)

Some random foods, including lettuce, onion, opened tofu, bell pepper, and some others are going into a salad for dinner tonight.  And to go with the salad, I'm making some of the best broccoli I'll ever eat in my life (supposedly).  I stumbled upon this recipe (originally from Back to Basics by the Barefoot Contessa) last week when I was trying to put off some research (StumbleUpon is an excellent way to put things off, if you're in need of a way to waste time).  When I saw the recipe and its ballsy claim, I knew I'd have to try it out for myself.  I (very slightly) modified the recipe, and it was truly delicious.  Quite possibly, it lived up to the best broccoli of my life.

Some Damn Good Broccoli (maybe the best of your life)

Two stalks broccoli
2 Tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and Kosher Salt to taste
3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

One lemon
3 Tbsp slivered almonds
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 425*.

Cut the broccoli into large florets and slice up the stalk (I love broccoli stalk, so I always throw it in).  Put the broccoli into a baking pan, drizzle with approximately 2 T olive oil, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and kosher salt.  Sprinkle the chopped garlic over all of it and mix to cover everything with the oil.

* Before roasting *

Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, zest approximately half the lemon over the broccoli and add juice from half the lemon.  Sprinkle with slivered almonds and extra olive oil. Mix it all up, then return to oven and roast for approximately 5 minutes more.

* Some damn good broccoli *

This is best served warm.  If it gets cold, pop it back in the oven for a few minutes until the broccoli crisps back up.  This recipe makes enough for two or three people as a side dish (you'll want to eat a healthy sized portion of this one!).

* My clean-out-the-fridge dinner *

This leaves the cilantro, and a few more things (bell pepper, red onion, some very well pressed firm tofu, carrots).  Does anyone have any great ideas for this combination of ingredients?

Before I head off for a few days in the nation's capital, I'd like to let you know about a pretty great giveaway at Love and Olive Oil.  Lindsay is giving away a great set of Chef'n utensils that any vegan cook would be lucky to have.  So skedaddle on over there and enter to win!


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  2. I am going to have to give this recipe a try. My husband loves broccoli. I usually just sauteed it lightly with garlic, salt and pepper.

  3. Well, it sounds like you've got the makings of Pad Thai -- I love the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance, although the one in Vegan Planet is pretty damn good too.

    That broccoli does look good. We've done similar with cauliflower, and it is really delicious.

    I'm just reading your 'About Me' and wondering if the combination of vegan + nuclear science = tomacco, simpson's style?

  4. Roasted broccoli is one of my top 5 favorite foods of ALL TIME. I could eat it twice a day, every day. With salt, and lemon! I'm drooling!

  5. Your (slightly modified) :) broccoli recipe sounds and looks delicious! I hope to try it soon!