The Best Broccoli Ever (Parmesan-Lemon Roasted Broccoli)

When my husband and I first started co-habitating and planning our meals together, there was one thing we couldn’t agree on: vegetable side dishes. He liked broccoli, I liked beets, and neither of us could understand the other’s choice. However, for being two only-children, we’re actually pretty good at compromising, and over the years, I’ve learned to like broccoli, and he’s learned to well, tolerate beets.

My idea of edible broccoli used to be broccoli with a Kraft single melted on top. Perhaps my tastes have matured a bit, because Kraft singles don’t even taste like cheese to me anymore. They just taste weird. So, call me lazy, but broccoli just became microwave “steamed” broccoli, and I didn’t put any more effort into it then that. This time, I needed a vegetable side dish to go along side of some leftover Rigatoni with Spicy Calabrese-Style Pork Ragu, but one of our go-to weeknight meals is a piece of chicken or fish, brown rice, and this steamed broccoli.

I’ve realized that broccoli can be MUCH better than this microwave version. And since I’m cooking the chicken or fish in the oven, anyway, why not roast the broccoli while I’m at it? I already know that roasted vegetables like asparagus, beets, and bell peppers and onions are awesome, so I figured broccoli would be great roasted as well.  This small change alone adds much more flavor to the broccoli (giving it a caramelized flavor), and makes it a hundred times more appealing to me.

I also started looking around the kitchen to find some other flavors to jazz up this cruciferous side dish. I thought some good-quality Parmesan cheese could sub in for the now-odd Kraft single. I also pulled out some lemons (who’s surprised?) and some red pepper flakes for a little heat. The resulting dish became the best broccoli I’ve ever made at home.

The Best Broccoli Ever (Parmesan-Lemon Roasted Broccoli)

Yield: 2 servings

The Best Broccoli Ever (Parmesan-Lemon Roasted Broccoli)

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli, stalks peeled and cut lengthwise into long pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place broccoli on rimmed baking pan and toss with olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until broccoli is tender, stirring once halfway through roasting.
  2. Transfer broccoli to large serving bowl. Add cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest and red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
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  • http://apuginthekitchen.com/ Suzanne

    I love broccoli, when its tasty that is. None of the steamed stuff for me. This recipe sounds great, simple, straightforward and very delicious. Will make this this week.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07966977553188456027 Lori Yates

    Thanks Suzanne!

  • Anonymous

    Are you sure this wasn’t just adapted from http://www.amateurgourmet.com/? Seems awfully similar.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07966977553188456027 Lori Yates

    Nope, I hadn’t seen AG’s post until you mentioned it, but you’re right – they are similar. I think because cheese is a classic pairing with broccoli, and lemon is a classic pairing with Parmesan, it’s probable that lots of cooks will come to this same result. Hope that makes sense.

  • http://7legs.wordpress.com/ 7legs

    I love plain steamed broccoli but I’m also psyched to try your jazzed-up version. Yum!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17215208307039039850 Joyously Domestic

    This looks fabulous! Lots of broccoli lovers in our house, so I’m excited to try roasting it. My kids like it with melted shredded cheese, so I think they will enjoy this! Lovely!

  • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori | Foxes Love Lemons

    So glad to hear you liked it! This is the only way I eat it, because yeah…broccoli still isn’t my favorite veggie either ;)