Saturday, May 9, 2015

Roasted Broccoli

We are big fans of roasted cauliflower and roasted Brussels and had been thinking for some time about roasting broccoli. When I made good on my threat to go through all the piled up issues of Cook's Illustrated, I came across an article/recipe for How to Roast Broccoli from the January~February 2008 issue. We decided to try it.
It's very simple. CI found that pre-heating the baking sheet helps with crisping the florets but not charring them. They also found that adding a bit of sugar along with the salt, pepper, and olive oil helped brown the stems and get a nice roast char on the stems.

We squeezed some lemon juice over the broccoli before eating it. I liked the roast broccoli, but I didn't love it. It turns out, I prefer my broccoli softer, and roasting left it a bit too crunchy for me. It also had a very strong broccoli flavor. SP thought it was great and would roast broccoli again. I would, too, but I wonder if there's a way to make it softer? I would think blanching first, but CI said blanching or steaming before roasting left the broccoli tasting bland. So I'm not sure. 

I guess it depends on your personal taste. Crunchy or soft broccoli? Maybe next time we'll make 2 batches, some just roasted, some blanched and then roasted, just to compare. Maybe I won't find the blanched then roasted broccoli bland and it'll better suit my broccoli preference. 

Recipe here.


  1. I'd say give nuking it for a couple minutes a shot (i.e., steam it but not long enough to make it even fork-tender as it'd likely be a mushy, limp mess by the time it was done roasting if you did that).

  2. We roast broccoli all the time here. Even my son likes it! If you would like softer broccoli, I'd recommend roasting frozen broccoli. I've roasted both fresh and frozen and like them both. Frozen just comes out a little softer.