13 January 2017

Pin Test #24: Crack Broccoli

It's time for more Pin Tests! I take a pin from Pinterest and try it out and give my thumbs up, thumbs down or even thumbs sideways with some additional explanation about what I've tried differently that originally suggested. This week's Pin Test (I won't keep you in suspense!) is a total thumbs up. It's deliciously perfect for the cold days of winter and full of "good for you" things like garlic, lemon and healthy dark, leafy greens! Meet "Crack Broccoli" from the blog A Beautiful Plate.

image via A Beautiful Plate

I have been making this about once a week since around Thanksgiving time and it's a hit and every bit of it gets gobbled up. It seriously takes Broccoli to a whole new level. It is so tasty. Can I first sell you something amazing about Broccoli. The big thick stems are not to be cut up and thrown out! Peel the thick hide off them and the insides are amazing, delicious and tender. No matter how I'm fixing broccoli I cook the stems and love them! In this recipe I would just cut off the bottom half inch or less of the stalks and then you don't need to peel them, just slice them up. 

Quick explanation, you slice the heads of Broccoli up like steaks from top to bottom. You can see that in the photo. Then you mix Olive Oil, Pepper Flakes, Garlic and Salt together in a bowl then toss in all the broccoli until it's well covered. (Please note that in this recipe, the salt is listed in the ingredients list but not mentioned in the process of mixing the ingredients. I either add it in with the oil mixture or just sprinkle Kosher Salt on the Broccoli once it's on the pan. I think either works.)

Then you lay it all out on the pan, roast it for 10-12 minutes, then flip all the stakes over and add your Almonds and roast for another 8-10 minutes. Then sprinkle with cheese and a bit of lemon juice.

A few alterations I've made:
1) 475 degrees is a little too hot with our oven and I was continually burning the broccoli. So I am using 470 now and it seems to be working well. No more burning. This is something to gauge with your own oven as they all work a little differently.

2) I use whatever cheese I have on hand and it all tastes good. My favorite is Parmesan, but I've used Cheddar, Monterrey, Monterrey Jack, Mozzarella...whatever I have available. If you want the cheese a little toasty you can add it the last couple of minutes of your roasting time on the second side.

3) The amount of Lemon Juice in the recipe was a little too lemony for my family. I sometimes just skip it or I just add a few drops here and there. Less is more if it gets too intense.

As I said, we are gobbling up this recipe like crazy. I even included it in our Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners. We usually depend on a lot of salads to get our greens but now that it is colder it's nice to have something warm and crunchy to help us get all our veggies in our diet every day. If you try it, let me know how it goes.

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