Friday, April 17, 2009

Barefoot Broccoli

We had a big bunch of broccoli in the fridge and while contemplating what to do with it, I remembered reading a post about "the best broccoli of your life" on the Amateur Gourmet. In it, Adam waxes rhapsodic about a recipe from Ina Garten's cookbook, Back to Basics, involving lemon and Parmesan and a trip through the oven.

"I can't imagine it will be the 'best' broccoli of my life," I thought to myself. After all, not much beats perfectly steamed broccoli topped with butter. Except maybe gai lan (Chinese broccoli) with oyster sauce. But then I thought, "what the hell? I'll try it."

So I cut up the broccoli and tossed it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mr Minx sliced up a few cloves of garlic for me (so the smell won't taint my hands which have a bit of knitting to accomplish in the next few months. Nothing worse than a garlic-scented baby blanket.) and in the oven it went.

After a few minutes, the smell of the garlic permeated the house with its...garlicness. Twenty-five minutes later, I pulled it from the oven, seasoned it with more olive oil, grated on the zest of one lemon, added the juice of half, and a handful of Parmesan. And we ate it.

It was good - the lemon/garlic/cheese combo made the dish. But was it the best I've ever had? Nope. It was too crunchy for my taste, and made for some indigestion later on. I don't think adding the basil and pine nuts that the original recipe calls for would have improved it any. I did think it would be a nice treatment for cauliflower, minus the lemon and plus the pine nuts. And maybe Brussels sprouts, too. And asparagus.

Will I try it again? Maybe - it was easy enough. Or I might just steam my broccoli and add butter. Mmmm.