Charred Broccoli, the New French Fries?
Whether you are a passionate foodie who embraces every trend, or someone who regards new preparations with suspicion, it’s hard not to like charred broccoli. It’s crispy, savory, and easy to prepare, It’s also healthy and addictive. I top it with freshly grated romano cheese or a sprinkling of salt. If your family is not adventurous serve it with a side of mayo or aioli (garlic mayonnaise.)
Broccoli is a fallback vegetable at my house. Everyone will eat it. It’s also available at any grocery store, I wish my family liked more vegetables or at least liked the same ones. Nevertheless, it’s easier to get everyone to eat a new preparation, than a new food. That’s how I discovered charred broccoli.
Broccoli is high in nutrients, including iron, vitamin K potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. It also has more protein than most vegetables and is high in antioxidants. According to Healthline, it’s also 90% water, which makes it extremely low in calories. In fact, a cup of florets is only 31 calories.
The Taste of Broccoli
Broccoli has a strong flavor. A cruciferous vegetable, it’s in the same family as cabbage and kale. My mother smothered it in cheddar cheese sauce until I adjusted to the taste. Many kids prefer the milder stalk pieces instead of the bolder tasting florets.
The Taste of Charred Broccoli
Although cheese sauce turned me into a broccoli eater, charring it might convert more people. The tendrils of each floret shrivel into tasty crispy bites that have a unique toasty flavor. There is nothing left of the traditional taste of broccoli, which The Kitchn aptly describes as having a grassy, earthy flavor that’s mildly bitter.
Making Charred Broccoli
The biggest surprise when making charred broccoli is how much the vegetable shrinks. Fortunately, it is inexpensive, averaging about $1.75 per head. Plan on making at least two or three times the amount you would make if you were steaming it. Think of it as making french fries, You won’t have any leftovers.
Healthy Sides and Snacks
Another simple healthy snack that everyone loves is baked potatoes. Try my easy twice- baked potato recipe which uses a modest amount of butter and only a 1/4 cup of cheese for four potatoes.
Early Spring Produce
If you are bored with earth-toned root vegetables, now is the time to stock up on blood oranges. Delicious to snack on, the jewel red flesh brightens up any dish. Follow my avocado and blood orange salad recipe for a quick side or lunch.
4 cups broccoli, florets cut from stalks
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400F. Put the florets into a pot of boiling water for two minutes, then plunge into a bowl of ice water. When the broccoli is chilled, dry it thoroughly. Toss the broccoli with olive oil and salt. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the florets over after 10 minutes.