Did somebody say butter? Did somebody say garlic butter? Wait. Did somebody say lemon-garlic butter?
When it comes to broccoli, no vegetable is more likely to get a thumbs-down from your kids. Remember school lunches with a side of mushy, tasteless broccoli? Or bags of frozen broccoli that when cooked, lost all resemblance to the original plant? The difference is all about the preparation. Hands-down, fresh is best. And roasting is one of the best methods to preserve the texture and flavor of this exceptionally healthy veggie. And when it’s coated in olive oil, butter, garlic and lemon juice, topped with pine nuts and Parmesan, it’s a thumbs-up at any age.
In the scientific community, cruciferous veggies like broccoli are considered nutritional powerhouses. Studies have suggested that a diet rich in these veggies have been associated with a lower risk of cancer, in particular lung and colon. It’s believed that the sulfur-containing compound that gives them their bitter taste also gives them their cancer-fighting ability by reducing inflammation.
Just one cup of chopped broccoli provides 245% RDA of vitamin K, 135% RDA of vitamin C and 42% RDA of folate. Three carotenoids concentrated in broccoli – lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene – function as key antioxidants. I’ll end this food science lesson by saying there’s plenty more health benefits derived from broccoli than room in this blog!
Choose broccoli with floret clusters that are compact and bright green, avoiding yellow flowers and woody stems. You’ll find me digging my way through the produce section to make sure the head is fresh. Do NOT wash broccoli before storing as water encourages spoilage. It will stay fresh for a good week if stored in the fridge. Do not store on the countertop, as valuable nutrients are lost without refrigeration. Rinse with water right before eating.
Here we go – my favorite recipe for roasted broccoli. These crispy, lemon-garlic nuggets sprinkled with Parmesan cheese are like crack. Cant. Stop. Eating.
Rinse the broccoli in cold water and cut into bite-size pieces. Then toss with oil, salt and pepper, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for a total of 12 minutes, flipping once. Then mix melted butter, garlic, and lemon zest, adding lemon juice after it’s cooled a bit. Top with pine nuts and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese or kick up the heat with some crushed pepper flakes.
Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Garlic Butter
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut broccoli into bite-size florets and toss with oil, salt/pepper to taste.
- Place in single layer on baking sheet, turning once, for a total of 12 minutes.
- Melt butter in saucepan. Add garlic and lemon zest. Stir over medium heat for one minute.
- Let cool slightly. Add lemon juice.
- Place roasted broccoli in serving bowl and toss with lemon/garlic butter. Top with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese or spice it up with red pepper flakes.