How to Roast Broccoli

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Broccoli, all by her lonesome dove, is my favorite vegetable. She’s filling and fibrous, unfussily fancied or dressed down.

I’d proclaim her the best vegetable, but you know how insecure brussels sprouts can be.

I steamed the whole head.

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I stir fried florets in toasted sesame oil, with browned garlic slices and a drizzle of soy sauce.

I covered her with beaten eggs and scrambled her in butter and a grating of romano cheese to make my mother’s specialty side dish, creatively titled, Broccoli and Eggs.

But then, two years ago, I roasted her for the first time. And my heart murmur acted up.

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Oh dear.

Sweet and crispy and so, so very salted.

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Daniel and I eat a big ol’ mess of roasted broccoli every night with dinner. *One fully flowered head for each of us.

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*This is a judgment-free zone.

I’ve always thought, in losing weight and maintaining mine for six years now, that fruits and vegetables make all of eating well, fuller. In finding vegetables I love, as madly as I do crispy broccoli and caramelized brussels and sweet early peas and grilled white corn on the cob and roasted brown sugared butternut squash, I discovered I could eat anything.

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In theory, of course I can. Anyone can.

But in practice, it seems more difficult.

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Because when I learned that a 13×9” of lasagna served eight, rather than four, when I figured out that I could eat french fries anytime so long as they were sized small rather than super, I wondered how I’d feel about fullness.

I began pairing whatever meal I craved with a mound of vegetables. It mattered less what was gracing one side of my plate, and mattered more that the other side was over-populated with plants.

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I ate the vegetables first. But I made sure that I only ate the ones I loved. I didn’t just quarantine a green on my dinner plate and promise to eat it for health’s sake. I found out which vegetables tasted best to me, and which methods of preparing them really made them as lovely as what I’d linger over in restaurants, and I experimented with those.

I bought a new and different veggie each Sunday at the market.

I used herbs and spices and introduced butter as a flavor rather than a foundation. I learned that roasting vegetables in a burning hot oven makes for sweetness without added sugar.

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Each night as I cooked dinner, I made certain that I paired that perfect square of gooey lasagna, those two medium slices of my favorite spicy caramelized onion pizza, the two soft corn tortilla tacos, with at least double that of delicious vegetables.

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I paired sandwiches with a softball of a pink lady apple.

I ordered a full Greek salad alongside my falafel plate.

I rounded out crab rangoon and stir fried Chinese take out with a piping hot carton of steamed mixed vegetables drizzled in duck sauce.

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I felt full and content and free to eat whatever I fancied.

The moral of all of this is simply that vegetables married every meal. They weren’t an afterthought or a ‘should’ at suppertime, but a lusty must.

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Without further ado, though goodness gracious there’s been heaps and gobs of ado here, I present to you- my favorite vegetable- roasted broccoli.

 

Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or any oil you like
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lay the florets in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  2. Pour oil into small bowl and dip a pastry brush into the oil and then onto each floret to coat lightly.
  3. Sprinkle evenly with salt.
  4. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until broccoli tips have begun to blacken and they can be easily pierced with a fork.

serves 2

Comments

  1. says

    Yum yum yuuuuuuuuum! So with you on the roasted broccoli and the Pink Lady apples. I started buying PL’s just for the name but soon fell in love! :)

  2. Laura says

    I couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote! I was wondering, is there a reason you chose grapeseed oil over others for this? I am beginning to experiment with various oils and would love to hear some of what you know. Also, is there an ingredients list for that salad pictured three photo from the bottom of the post? It just looks so lovely, I want to eat it as soon as possible! Thank you again for sharing another outstanding post :-)

  3. Karen says

    another lovely trip into your future book :)

    and to second Laura’s post above….I’d love the salad recipe too. It does look like I could pluck it from the screen and jump right into a bowl of it :)

    Thanks
    Karen XO

  4. says

    when i saw this on your favorite healthy foods, it made me remember how much i loved it myself. now thinking about finding some grapeseed oil to keep in the pantry, because i’ve always just used olive.

  5. Liz says

    I ADORE roasted broccoli. It’s seriously an addiction for me. I use olive oil, salt, pepper, and either fresh garlic or, more often than not, garlic powder. When it comes out of the oven, I sprinkle it with a little Parmesan, and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD I LOVE BROCCOLI.

  6. Katie G says

    I love posts like this. I hope one of these days you’ll also demonstate roasting brussel sprouts. I’m very intimidated by them (not sure why) and haven’t the slightest idea what to do with them. Hint, hint….

    “A lusty must…” I LOVE your language!

  7. says

    I discovered roasted broccoli a couple of months ago and it is now one of my favourite vegies. I used to avoid broccoli unless it was smothered in cheese sauce or dip. Now it is a staple in my fridge.
    I have almost exactly the same recipe as you do, only I use an oil spray bottle to spray my garlic olive oil all over the florets–it helps reduce the amount of oil and is simple and fast. And I use freshly ground sea salt on them once they come out of the oven.
    I actually made some the other night (at 9pm–you said this was a judgement-free zone, right?) when I just needed to eat something. YUM. It satisfied the need for salt and sweet and crunch.
    Yay, Roasted Broccoli!

  8. says

    I love roasted vegetables and my favorite are brussel sprouts. But each time I make roasted brocolli, my daughter reminds me of the first time I made it. Her friend was joining us for dinner, and I just guessed on the roasting time — 45 minutes sounded about right. Well they came out of the oven looking like charcoal, and her friend just cringed, then heaped her plate and scarfed them down as if they were potato chips. (We tossed ours in the trash!)

  9. says

    oh my gosh a pan of roasted vegetables, broc, caulif, and brussels….

    is there anything better?

    seriously, there are never any left for lunch the next day.

    MMMMM

  10. Lisa says

    I love broccoli. I’ll have to try roasting it. I usually just microwave it in my steamer. My kids have always liked it too.

    I’d be interested to see more posts about veggies and how you prepare them.

  11. says

    I love your food philosophy, Andie! It makes sense! Most of the time when I want an extra slice of pizza or a few more greasy buffalo wings it’s because I’m not full. If I have a side salad or these delicious roasted broccoli stalks I’ll be less likely to grab more junk because the veggies fill me up. It’s not brain surgery but it took me so long to figure out. I’m definitely going to try Broccoli & Eggs. It sounds simple and delicious! 😀

  12. says

    Yum! That is also my favorite way to eat broccoli. My co-worker gave me a big bag of the loveliest dark green broccoli from his garden on Monday…we ate it all in one sweep! So delish!

  13. says

    thanks for this post- i plan on trying this method ! i love broccoli but i’m sick of steaming it and using it in stir-fries. I also admire your approach to your maintenance- it is crazy how complicated something that should be so easy has become, but you’re right.. moderation is the best (and i think only) way to maintain your weight!

  14. Nicole says

    Before I started losing weight, the veggies in our fridge would often go bad, and I would groan when my boyfriend wanted salad for dinner. Now, I’ve lost 20 pounds and part of my journey was somehow learning to love-love-love vegetables. I sneak them raw out of the fridge and while I’m preparing meals with them, and I insist on having salad or a large side of veggies with dinner- to fill up on before I start on the more calorie heavy foods. I also add a ton of vegetables to stir fries and pasta dishes, which makes them heartier with fewer calories per serving.

  15. says

    Yowza, and I thought I ate a lot of broccoli! Although, admittedly, I probably didn’t need to buy regular broccoli AND broccoli slaw last time I went to TJ’s. 😉 I love roasted veggies so, so much. I think that’s how I first started loving broccoli, as a matter of fact. How we were deprived of this secret for so long is truly a crime against humanity*. (*No hyperbole at all. Never.)

  16. says

    When I was little and my mom would ask what vegetable I wanted with dinner, the answer was always, “broccoli”. I love it. I’ll put it in anything. Sometimes I just snack on it when Im looking for something in the fridge. Broccoli is awesome.

  17. Brenda the Barefootcookingirl says

    I saw this recipe this morning, and for sure, it must be broccoli tonight done just this way! I had to come back again and look at all the wonderful comments.
    But last night we were all about Kale Chips…..sigh! I discovered them on a site called cleananddelicious.com last year (before I discovered YOU Andie) and it’s almost completely taken over my popcorn addiction. Kale Chips, followed closely by Spinach Chips…., but again, tonight must be roasted broccoli as my snack of the evening! Can’t wait!

  18. Aidan says

    This is JUST in time. I got about 4lbs of broccoli from a friend and had no idea what to do with it. I don’t like it raw or steamed. xD This looks amazing!

  19. says

    I love my “brockie”!

    I don’t think I could ever get sick of it–unless it’s OVERcooked into a mound of mush. I think then–and only then–I’d have to pass.

    But I’m with you… I crave veggies with every meal! Meat has really become more of a side item for me. Veggies are the real star of the diner show!

  20. says

    In our house, we call any roasted veggie “roasted deliciousness.” Because truly, that’s what they are. Half the time it doesn’t make it from the tray to my plate because I’m eating bites from the tray as I finish dinner. Mmmmm!

  21. Louisa says

    I adore broccoli, and just bought three heads of it all for myself. I’m so excited to try preparing it this way; thank you so much for sharing!

  22. Ellen Renee says

    This is the reason why I allocate time out of my busy day to check in with the ladies whose blogs I have decided I can’t live without. Roasted vegetables was something I learned from the blog world and am so thankful – our veggie intake has increased dramatically. I love my sweet mom but we only had potatoes, canned corn, peas and green beans as sides for meals during my childhood – always an afterthought. Fresh green beans in the summer were cooked to death with lots of bacon floating around in it. She thinks my obsession with crunchy veggies is weird – but I detest them when vegetables are mushy and overcooked. Thank you for the brush tip Andie – normally I just drizzle a little on – kind of hit and miss.

  23. says

    Roasted broccoli is my favoriteeeeeee! I swear it could get any “broccoli hater” to convert, soooo good. I like to add some chopped garlic to my olive oil an hour or so before roasting, then using the infused oil to roast away. Mmmm mmmm :)

  24. Mya says

    O.M.G. Seriously. This roasted broccoli works magic! It converted my vegetable-despising boyfriend into a broccoli-liker! I did half broccoli, half cauliflower and it was excellent. I will now have to do like you and have it every night with dinner so the bf eats some veggies. Not that I’m complaining! :)

  25. Rachel Jones says

    I totally agree – with everything :) I have also found that filling half the plate with awesome veggies makes for an easier path to maintenance. I lost 50 lbs (twice) and then 35…for the first time, I dont feel like i have to watch every calorie (or POINT as i was a weight watcher)…obsessing is not fun. Eating healthy, yummy vegetables is a party. If you haven’t already, check out Mark Bittman’s book Food Matters. Whether or not you agree with the environmental aspect of the book, you cant help but be inspired by it. Once you let go of all the emotional ties, you can really enjoy any food…..even cupcakes (cause you dont NEED to eat more than one to feel better). A cupcake (even a divine one) should just be a cupcake and not an emotional bandage.

  26. Carole says

    Excellent advice. I try to eat two veggies every night, and find that roasting improves just about anything. Roasted butternut squash is the best!

  27. says

    I really loved this post, I love the way you talk about your journey with food without rubbing it in someone’s face, but just explaining your path. I really admire you. And your photos were gorgeous. What a great and inspiring post!

  28. Kristina says

    I just tried this a couple nights ago, and I think it’s my new favorite vegetable. Or food. I haven’t decided yet. Definitely going to make it many more times. Thanks for the great idea!

  29. Casey says

    I too love roasted broccoli. We eat it at my house regularly because even the kids love it. I do exactly what you do but add whole(unpeeled) garlic and red pepper flakes to mine and then squeeze lemon juice over it when it comes out of the oven. So good. There is something so good about lemon on veggies. My son loves it on all veggies. I think so many people don’t like veggies because they grew up eating bland boiled veggies. Such a shame!

  30. Miss SJ Albany says

    i thought to myself an entire head of broccoli a night ?!? and i actually really like broccoli, i thought this is not possible. and then i tried. whoa. i had to step away from the table so as not to snatch my son’s portion right off his plate!

  31. Special Monkey says

    Roasted broccoli has to be the best method, I just ate some and found your site as I searched for info. I find it’s best not to wash the broccoli unless you let it dry completely – otherwise it never really roasts properly – – roasting cleans it anyway. I roast it for 20 or so mins at 425-450 – get the freshest, dark, greenest, and tightest broccoli you can find and eat it quickly. You can even roast a bit of the stalks cut thinly. A full head of broccoli shrinks quite a bit by the time it’s roasted. My recipe is simply chopped broccoli on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil sprinkled with nice olive oil and with salt an pepper, and the secret ingredient – a bit of (raw cane) sugar! It caramelizes and maximizes the great sweet broccoli taste. I roast until there are lots of dark brown caramelized crunchy bits but while the bright green is still apparent.

  32. Tracy says

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve been spreading my love of roasted broccoli for months now. I prepare mine the same, however I also add paprika, which may sound odd to some but I love how it combines with it all. I could eat this every night!

  33. Denise Burns says

    U are such a inspiration to me and I wanna lose the weight and now I am going to look at it instead of a diet its a life changing so I am going to work on my eating and snacking habits thank you for your story I loved it and brought tears to my eyes because my soul bare witness with how I feel too

  34. says

    This helps so much! I’m currently on my weight loss journey and have shed 25 lbs so far. I have a gajillion to go, but I know I can do it. This really helps. I love veggies, so remembering to have more of those than the “main” dish is something I’ll be able to put to practice. Thank you Andie!! I don’t know you, but I do. And I love you! =)

  35. Veronike W says

    So I’d just like to say I tried this out and it is…AMAZING! I was so surprised when I bit into it and it was just so crunchy and I don’t know how but a little sweet with the salty.
    I love broccoli and I now think my room mate does too!

  36. katie says

    Hi Andie,

    Me again (I just commented on your b.bean enchilada recipe)! Just wanted to say that I LOVE roasted broccoli too–try it tossed with a little lemon zest and fresh parm at the end (I know how much you love cheese; and for me, lemon usually makes everything better)–and to pass on that GRILLED ASPARAGUS is also to die for. All year long, huddled outside over my tiny gas grill, browning those lovely spears–mm! Have you tried it? :)

    Much love,
    Katie

  37. says

    My 10 year old daughter and I eat roasted broccoli every single night. Often – it’s our appetizer. She munches on it as she’s doing homework and I finish up dinner. :-)

  38. Iris says

    Thank you so much for this recipe!
    I recently started making some changes in my diet, but my one big problem is that I don’t really love veggies! I made this last night and I have to control myself to not make it again tonight! It’s amazing, and probably one of my new favorites!

  39. Becky says

    Thank you so much for this! I’m changing my eating habits and my husband is a recently diagnosed diabetic who doesn’t love veggies, and we both LOVE this! It feels so wrong with the salty and crunchy but is so right. Thank you for blogging. I can’t wait for your book.

  40. theresa says

    i changed my fiance’s life with this recipe (with your help, of course)! so simple and so yummy (the salt makes all the difference!) i’ve always loved broccoli, but now he’s a believer, too.

  41. Staci says

    Just tried this recipe tonight. We are already big fans of broccoli but I love trying new variations on things we already love. It’s a big hit at my house! Thank you, thank you for sharing!

  42. Maudene says

    This my first time seeing your site. I’m a Registered Dietitian and I can say that you have, indisputably, the most lovely writing style and sincerity for conveying the joy of eating well. I’m inspired to use your words in my nutrition education (credit to your site, of course). Thanks!

  43. says

    What – no black pepper on you roasted broccoli? We love a little of that too! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but have tried roasting anything else? Our favorites here (which are featured at least once a week each) – broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower. YUMM!!!! We’ve even done green beans too.

    LOVED this post. I’m going to keep it in my arsenal of motivation. And can’t wait to try your morning eggs.

  44. Maureen says

    I L-O-V-E any vegetable roasted! Broccoli rates as one of my favorites, but I also love roasted root vegetables as well. There’s nothing prettier than a blend of roasted carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets and sweet onions, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of seasoned salt, & lemon pepper. YUM!!

  45. Lindsey says

    Roasted broccoli is my favorite veggie! Love your description of it :) My secret ingredient to roasted broccoli (or any roasted veggie) is a little touch of honey for the last 5 minutes to add a sweet kick to it.

  46. gorettia knight says

    I eat roasted broccoli every day too… using pecan oil but you gotta try it adding baby carrots. Roasted carrots are so delicious. And of course I sprinkle sea salt, garlic powder, pepper and onion powder on everything I roast. I recently discovered
    roasted whole green beans (I use the Frozen ones from Sam’s Club) and they are equal to broccoli and carrots in taste. I am celiac so vegetables have become a staple for me. Roasting is about the only way I care for any of it now!!! Glad to see I am not alone.

  47. jenna says

    Well, it is fitting my response would finally be about food. I adore roasted broccoli and add chopped bits of garlic to the tray and let them get roasted and yummy along with the garlic and zest and juice a lemon on top..I digress! Your blog as lit my fire again, though I am much older, I am no less determined. I thank you!

  48. says

    I made a fancier roasted broccoli recipe a while back, but this simple one was way better. Delicious! We’ll be eating our broccoli this way more often.

  49. Lynsey Rogers says

    Wow! I’m not really a veggie lover, but this has blown my mind! I usually only eat brocoli with a roast dinner, when it’s covered in gravy and mushy! I ate these up stalks and all – yum! Thank you <3

  50. Angie says

    I loved this it was nice and crunchy ad the salt soaked in. I would totally suggest this and am toally going to use this recipe.

  51. says

    Just discovered your blog and I love it! I am in dire need of more vegetables in my diet and I am sick to death of just steamed or boiled veggies and it is boring and puts me off them. Roasted broccoli sounds delicious, will try it this week.

  52. Anna Thomas says

    Can you post a picture of the after roasted broccoli? I followed your recipe and it looked burnt at first but I tasted it anyway, and was pleasantly surprised that it almost had a potato chip quality. How do yours look after the 20 minutes?

Trackbacks

  1. […] I am) I would saute some peppers, onions and mushrooms to go along with them.  So last night I ate baked broccoli and Chicken Quesadillas and fresh salsa.  I’d already had veggies on my sandwich at lunch, […]

  2. […] In her post last week, she confesses her adoration for Roasted Broccoli.  As you know, I recently discovered roasted broccoli myself, but do stop by to read how Andie describes its flavor so thoughtfully.  She also writes about how veggies are the star of the dinner plate, not the side dish we always thought it was.  This resonates with me COMPLETELY as it is key to my weight-loss strategy and new lifestyle. I’m such a super-fan… I just had to share her page with all of you.  To read about her Roasted Broccoli, click here. […]

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