Yield: 4 servings

Every time I make this recipe, the broccoli never makes it to the dinner table because my husband and I stand over the pan, piping hot from the oven, and eat the florets like French fries. Carrie, a teacher-friend at my school, recently confessed that, since I shared the recipe with her last year, she has made it at least twice a week. I considered a variety of ways to make the recipe “mine,” but why tinker with perfection? Resist the temptation to gild the lily, and make this recipe just as it was conceived by Sara Moulton, Food Network star and executive chef of Gourmet magazine. Resist also the temptation to open the oven and peer in to insure you aren’t incinerating your little broccoli forest. Never fear, 500 degrees is the correct baking (not broiling) temperature and 15 minutes is the correct amount of time. I shared this recipe with our good friend Scott who called to say that he had blown it, as his broccoli looked like brain coral. My response was, “No, that’s perfect!”

2 ½ cups of broccoli florets, trimmed to approximately the size of a ping-pong ball (some may be slightly smaller and some slightly larger, but you want them to cook fairly evenly)
1 tablespoon of olive oil (avoid using more, as you don’t want the broccoli to steam)
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Pour oil into a large metal roasting pan. Add broccoli florets and toss gently to coat. Salt and toss again. Spread florets into a single layer and place pan on the center rack of your oven. Roast for 8 minutes without opening the oven or stirring. Remove, toss gently, and return to oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. (Broccoli should be slight browned and crispy on some surfaces.) Adjust seasoning with salt if necessary and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. These are best not reheated.

Source: Sara Moulton

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