Me, sighing, as I take a bite of spinach: I just love vegetables.
Merrie, sighing, in response: I just love sugar.
Okay, so Lauren at Pretending to Farm told me recently she’s awash with broccoli down in Arizona. So let’s talk broccoli.
Bush the elder banned it from the White House. One in six children think it’s a baby tree (and hey, you can blow up balloons with your ear; who knew?). In fact, it’s an edible flower, chock full o’ vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and other cancer-fighting good stuff. Guess that’s why this guy feels strongly enough about the vegetable to join anti-porn demonstrations and a beam-me-up UFO convention…dressed as broccoli.
But, um, whaddya’ do with it?
Two nights ago, we did what we’ve been doing with all foods in my cooktop-free world: we roasted it. Just cut it small, placed it in a pan, drizzled it with olive oil, and then sprinkled parmesan cheese on it. Not so much that it was coated in cheese; just enough that some stuck to the bottom of the pan. The flavor gets absorbed as it cooks, I think. You’ll want to place it in a preheated 400 degree oven (that’s my default roasting temperature these days) for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until you see a tiny bit of brown.
Okay, so that doesn’t look beautiful, but we all ate it pretty happily. And Merrie? My 5-year old? Loved the stuff. Loved it! She liked it so much that she was crushed when dear Mr. Cleaner Plate Club accidentally threw out the leftovers that she’d hoped to take to school for lunch (I love you honey, I do. But please, please next time your 5-year old is excited to bring broccoli to school for lunch? PLEASE don’t send it into the waste bin).
There’s endless variations on this concept. Kai mentioned in a previous comment that she likes it roasted with lemon and garlic. Teri’s kitchen does the parmesan thing, but adds garlic and marjoram to hers. And, ooh, here’s a teriyaki version that I might try. And, oh, hey, here’s a different Asian-inspired version. If you want to get all sophisticated with the stuff, you can try making an infused oil version, courtesy of this blogger, who’s dedicated enough to dream about broccoli at the gym. I mean, this gal is serious.
Me? Not quite as serious. But I like my broccoli. I like even better that my family likes their broccoli.
And, since it’s been a while, why not close with a few haiku on the subject?
Oh, great green flower:
My kid eats you with gusto!
For you? Gratitude.
What did H.W. know?
You’re tasty, cooked right.
(Let’s blame Barbara Bush,
Modern Marie Antoinette.
Cook more, Babs. Talk less).
A sprinkle of cheese,
A drizzle of olive oil…
Booyah! That ain’t bad!