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The New Broccoli and Cheese

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Growing up, I recall broccoli with cheese sauce being a very popular side dish.  I am sure it is still a favorite in some circles, but it’s not something I’ve had for ages.  I’ve been roasting my broccoli lately and I don’t think I will ever go back.  Today I am sharing a technique, not a recipe…and really just want everyone to know how wonderful a modest stalk of broccoli can be when it is given a little gourmet treatment.

Basic Roasted Broccoli

  • Broccoli
  • Good Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Some flair of your choice (some of my favorites below)
    Walnuts/Blue Cheese/Garlic (definitely my #1)
    Parmesan & a drizzle of truffle oil
    Red chile paste and lemon
    Bacon and Feta

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Rinse broccoli and dry well.  Cut into pieces (best described as two-bite sections).  The stalks can be tough, so if I have plenty or if this is for company, I will trim most of the stalk off.  But, when it’s just my husband and myself, a little chewiness doesn’t bother us.

Toss the broccoli with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.  Go with a light drizzle when you’re feeling healthy, but ramp it up a bit when you’re feeling like splurging. This works great with herb or garlic infused oils too.  Roast for ten minutes.  Flip the broccoli pieces and return to oven.  Roast for about ten minutes more.  Your florets should be starting to brown and crisp.  Remove from oven and toss with cheese, nuts, etc.  If I start with raw nuts, I usually just chop those and add them during the flipping step.

I know that roasting broccoli may not be new to many of you, but it is just sooooo good that I had to make sure all my followers are in the loop.  It takes a frugal vegetable and turns it into a foodie worthy side with little effort.  I will admit that my current obsession with roasted broccoli started with a fondness for roasted broccolini, but with plain old broccoli being much easier on the wallet, I’ve found myself making the latter much more often.

This is so versatile, I don’t think I need to make a protein recommendation, but here’s a shot of variation #1 with a lemon and caper topped pork tenderloin.  Cheers!
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