Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan

Posted by Vanessa in Cooking, June 28, 2012

I don’t even like cooked broccoli.  Never have.  I remember my mom steaming it and cauliflower together when I was a kid and the smell would trigger my gag reflex.  I kid not.

But for some reason, and I have no real idea why, when I saw Ina prepare it this way on her show one afternoon, I felt compelled to try it.  It took me about a month to actually gather the nerve to buy a head of broccoli at the store, but if this tells you anything, I’ve been buying it ever since.

See, this is my baby girl’s favorite food.

No, I’m serious.  It really is.  It’s a little crazy how excited she gets when broccoli hits her high chair tray.  (Of course I omit the salt and cheese from her portion, in case you’re questioning my mommy skills, geesh.)  We tried a new technique with her for introducing foods (I read this book called Baby-Led Weaning) where we skipped purees completely and have let her feed herself from day 1, and she basically eats what we eat, minus the salt and sugar.  It’s been incredible.  I’ve spent zero time making baby food.  We don’t have to worry about feeding her during meals while our own dinner sits and gets cold because she does it all herself.  And, best of all, she’s just part of our family dinners, enjoying the same foods we do.  I love it, can’t you tell?  And this has been her favorite food since she was 7 months old.

I love it too.  And so does my 4 year old little girl too.  I can hardly believe my girls get so excited when I make broccoli, but they do.  So, I think this is worth a try.  Even if you’re always been a broccoli-hater like me, this is worth a try.

So, thanks, Ina.  You changed me.

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan

recipe adapted from Ina Garten
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes.
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes.
  • Ready in 35 Minutes.
  • Makes: 4 Servings
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Using a microplane grater, grate the garlic on top of the broccoli and drizzle broccoli generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss broccoli with your hands to make sure all pieces are coated well with garlic and oil. Roast for 15 to 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 the lemon zest, lemon juice and Parmesan. Serve hot.

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