When you eat broccoli you actually eat unexpanded flowers gathered into one flowering head on a stalk. So it is kind of a romantic matter. It’s also quite ancient. People cultivated it in the sixth century BC. Presumably in the Roman Empire, where it was consumed both raw and steamed.
Eating broccoli raw doesn’t sound romantic anymore, though it’s featured in many interesting salads on the web. Mix it with some grapes, onion, nuts and dried fruits to get the best from both worlds. Crunchy, tangy, sweet, salty, chewy, fatty – all’s here. The best part of such recipes is the time that you can save preparing them because you don’t have to cook anything. Just chop your ingredients and try to find a good and trusty dressing. Try honey mustard. Or ground some soaked cashews with water, maple syrup, vinegar, and seasonings (search for ‘nut salad dressing’ to get the proportions and possible substitutions to suit you best).
Steaming broccoli is something not many people, let’s be honest, would prefer. We’re not saying this type of cooking is inferior or that steamed ‘crown of jewel nutrition’ (as some call broccoli) is not tasty per se. Get it cooked like this and simply season with salt and crumble some goat cheese and chop some red onion on top to get it all going.
But truly shine does it when it’s roasted. Its negative sulphurous image has been a real problem for many years. Kids and adults alike would push their plates away with indignation because of the offputting aroma. But it won’t be a case anymore. It happens when you treat your veg with moderate heat for a long time. Cut that out.
Give it a good ol’ super high heat in the oven. Sugars will caramelize quickly, and the mellow nutty flavors will appear, producing the sweetest and the tastiest broccoli you’d ever tried. To cook it like this you don’t need nothing more than an oven, a sheet pan, and your green flower wannabe. Well, and some other stuff that you sure have.
Preheat your oven to the max with a sheet pan inside. Cut your broccoli into same-sized chunks, toss them with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Then work fast. Open the oven, take out the pan (preferably not with your bare hands), spread broccoli into one layer on it and put it back to roast for about 20 minutes. Feel free to flip them once or twice during the process to get an even cooking. But leaving them as-is is totally fine too. Try it, and if that’s not the best way to eat broccoli, then we don’t know what else is. Probably, some chilies on top is a better way. But that’s it.