Saturday, November 24, 2012

Broccoli ~ Parmesan Roasted with Pine Nuts

"I'll never skip broccoli again" proclaimed a reader that had requested a new way to prepare fresh broccoli.  She had been reading my blog post on sugar snap peas and decided to drop me a note, telling me that she and her family were not all that fond of broccoli.  They had recently 'upgraded' from frozen to fresh (big improvement) and she had been steaming it and then drizzling with butter, salt and pepper (delicious, I find). They hadn't warmed to it as much as she had hoped and wondered if I could give her any tips (besides a cheese sauce that she had already tried).  She was looking for something flavorful yet not burying the broccoli in a heavy sauce.

A couple years ago I came across this recipe from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook and I've been making it ever since.  I no longer use the written recipe so this may be slightly modified from her original.  If you don't have her book on the shelf, you may want to consider it.  She is a fabulous cook with wonderful recipes!  In any case, you can easily adjust the quantities of any of the items below to suit your taste.


Garlic Cloves (fresh preferred)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Lemon (substitute McCormick Lemon and Herb Seasoning)
Pine Nuts
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Basil, thinly sliced (optional)


Preheat the oven to 425F degrees and cut the broccoli florets from the stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets. Discard the rest. Cut the larger pieces pulling the florets apart into bite-sized pieces.

Place the broccoli on a sheet pan lined with foil and prepared with cooking spray (food release) large enough to hold it in a single layer. Slice or chop the garlic and sprinkle on the broccoli, and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and the tips of some of the broccoli are browned. While the broccoli roasts, heat a small skillet with a few drops of oil.  Add the pine nuts and stir constantly until they are browned and toasted.  If using the fresh lemon (preferred) zest the peel and squeeze out the juice.  Shred the cheese and slice the basil.

Remove the broccoli from the oven, and immediately toss with olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, (or substitute lemon herb seasoning) pine nuts, Parmesan and optional basil.  Serve immediately.

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