Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

This dish represents everything that I love about Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa).  She makes the best simple variations on classic dishes that I have ever seen.  None of her recipes are earth-shattering or particularly inventive, but they are the types of recipes that you love to make and eat at home.  And I don't mean to be insulting when I say that her recipes aren't earth-shattering or inventive.  It's like she takes the recipes that you know and love - like cheese grits, biscuits and steak sandwiches, and just makes them that much better with a few tweaks here and there.  She really is just that good.  I used to scoff at her show on Food Network because it all seemed so boring, but I can admit now that I was totally wrong to do so.  There is nothing wrong with cooking really simple, but delicious food.  Those two adjectives are not mutually exclusive.  Take this broccoli for instance.  There's nothing groundbreaking about it - you roast it with evoo, s&p and then top it with lemon zest, lemon juice, toasted pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil.  Done.  Simple, right?  And yes.  It is very simple.  But it is also very very good.  It's the type of dish I can see myself eating years from now with my grandkids (which really is years and years away since I don't have kids yet and don't plan on having them anytime soon), loving it just as much then as I do now.  I might try a few tweaks here and there (like adding a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes), but I think I will always return to her base recipes.  Ina Garten writes the type of recipes that you would never outgrow because she doesn't buy into all the gimmicks and trends like most younger chefs.  Her recipes never call for things like sous-vide or immersion circulators.  Nor does she throw together terribly random combinations of ingredients that somehow work together and yet make you question the sanity of the chef behind the dish.  Instead she relies on simple techniques (like oven roasting) and great ingredients and creates really delicious dishes that anyone can make at home, no matter their skill level.  And you have to respect that.

Recipe after the jump!

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
By Ina Garten

1 medium head broccoli, cut into about 4-5 cups of florets, rinsed and completely dried
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
good quality evoo
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tbsp basil, chiffonaded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place broccoli in large cast iron pan in a single layer.  Toss garlic on broccoli and drizzle with 2 tbsp evoo.  Season with s&p.  Roast 20-25 minutes, until crisp-tender an the broccoli is slightly browned.  Remove broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with a drizzle of evoo, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, parm-reg and basil. 

Serve hot.

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