Orange-Pepper Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and Parmesan



I imagine that most of you, like myself, are not extremely fond of broccoli; or maybe that's not the right way to put it; although broccoli's bright green hue and unique texture are interesting and adorable, it's not exactly something I crave throughout the day, nor is it a product which I would immediately reach for in the supermarket or in my fridge  However, as with most food, I find that it's not the ingredient that I dislike, but more poor and bland preparation that causes me to be turned off by broccoli.  So in an effort to make broccoli more enticing and satisfying, I decided to mix my love to oranges, parmesan and whole peppercorns with this verdant vegetable, to some very positive results.

Maybe I should explain how this potentially unlikely combination came about.  I keep a journal by my bed to write down just about anything that comes through my mind, either before, during, or after sleep;  I don't know about you, but sometimes ideas appear in my head in the middle of the night and I like to write down whatever it is that seems crucial and fascinating at 4 AM.  Yesterday morning I found that I had recently written a terse note, saying only, "OK, oranges!"  Apparently something in my sleep triggered a delight of oranges which compelled me to write this and ensure that a recipe involving oranges would soon ensue.

Let's be realistic here; most likely something I saw or read earlier that day led to my nocturnal orange obsession, and I can tell you what it probably was:  The Savory Take on Fruit Salad, a recent entry by Mark Bittman on his food blog Bitten.  Please take a moment to appreciate the beauty and wonder that was captured in Mark Bittman's photo of these beautiful citrus fruits; I don't know about you but just looking at them makes my mouth water and my stomach churn. 

So, it is with this immediate interest in citrus in combination with my desire to turn broccoli into something appetizing that this recipe came about.  Roasting broccoli turns its flavor in a nuttier direction, and roasting it at a very high heat almost caramelizes it, so that you are essentially be eating broccoli at its finest and in its most hightened form. I believe roasted broccoli is typically served with garlic, maybe some chili flakes, and cheese - why not stray and try something delightfully new and interesting? You can eat this with some other roasted vegetables (like sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, or cauliflower) a soup, or a filet of chicken breast or fish.  In any event, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the good taste broccoli can offer.


Orange-Pepper Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and Parmesan - serves 1

1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 small glug of olive oil
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon (or to taste) freshly grated parmesan
1 small handful toasted almonds

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
1.  On a lined baking tray, toss the broccoli with the olive oil, whole peppercorns, and a pinch of salt.
2.  Roast in the oven until broccoli is slightly browned, about 20-25 minutes.
3.  Take out of the oven, and toss broccoli with orange zest, orange juice, and additional salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Sprinkle with parmesan and toasted almonds. 


2 comments:

Chief said...

I always have problem to make myself eat Broccoli. This recipe is one of the best. It was delicious.

Ashley Fahr said...

Chief, you are certainly my biggest fan - and I am delighted about that, because you always have the nicest things to say!

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