Roasted broccoli is a staple side dish in our house. I’m sure many of you are already on the roasted broccoli bandwagon but today I’m going to walk you through a new prep method I learned from my dad that includes roasting the crowns and stems of the broccoli! Broccoli seems to be one of the most abundantly available vegetables at the grocery no matter the season but for the past couple of months I’ve bene able to get beautiful locally-grown broccoli at the farmers market since it’s a spring/fall crop.
Until I discovered the magic that is roasting broccoli, my go-to prep method was steaming. More often than not I would end up topping my steamed broccoli with shredded cheddar cheese. Growing up, my mom and dad would serve steamed broccoli with sour cream. I actually just had to stop writing this post to call them and ask how that ever became a thing. There’s no good story behind it. My dad said he just tried it one day and it was good so he kept doing it. (Insert cry-face emoji here.)
Okay, so let’s talk about the new broccoli secret I learned from my dad last time I visited. Raise your hand if you cut the broccoli crowns off of the stem and proceed to toss out the stem. Don’t worry if you do. I did too until just recently. Let me show you another (delicious!) way that also reduces food waste!
See the inside of this broccoli stem? It tastes great!
What doesn’t taste great is the tough outer exterior. The first step is to cut off the end of the stem.
The second step is to cut down the sides of the broccoli stem in strips to remove the tough outer part.
What you’re left with is tender broccoli stems and pieces (<– I also “peel” the pieces that I cut from the bottom of the crowns.)
Chop them all cup.
And then add it all to a big baking sheet. In order to ensure the best and most even cooking, make sure that the broccoli is spaced out. Scatter the stems and pieces in with the crowns.
I like to keep it simple. A drizzle of olive oil and a heavy hand with the sea salt grinder is all it takes.
Pop in the oven at 400 for about 20-25 minutes and the result is perfectly roasted broccoli that is tender on the inside but crunchy and browned in places.
If your broccoli seems to be browning too fast but not getting tender, drape the entire pan with foil. This helps protect the broccoli from over-browning and also traps in some of the steam to help soften the broccoli. Also, you can stir it half way through but I like to just leave it alone and have the browner parts on the undersides of the broccoli. Personal preference.
Make more than you think you need because it really cooks down while roasting and you’ll probably be fighting over who gets to finish off the remains on the roasting pan. I promise you that the stem pieces are really, really good and I love that this cooking method includes using the entire piece of broccoli and not throwing any away.
What’s your favorite way to eat broccoli?