Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blasted Broccoli from Epicurious via Sleep.Love.Eat.

I've been in the mood for roasted vegetables and I had two heads of broccoli that I needed to cook.  I found this recipe for "Blasted Broccoli" from Sleep.Love.Eat. and figured it was high time I tried roasted broccoli.  Evidently, they found the recipe on Epicurious.  If there aren't enough names in this post already, when I printed the recipe, "Paleo Gals" was printed across the top.  Evidently, that used to be the name of the Sleep.Love.Eat. blog.  Whew.  This recipe was appealing to me because it had some added flavors with the garlic and pepper.  

First, I gathered my ingredients.  The recipe calls for 1.25 pounds of broccoli.  I had two crowns of broccoli in my refrigerator that I needed to cook.  I weighed them, and they were exactly 1.25 pounds.  This may be meant to be.  

After turning my oven on to pre-heat to 450 degrees, I cut my broccoli into florets.  I the recipe suggests using pre-cut florets.  Good idea, but I'll just do a little chopping this time.

I put the florets into a bowl and added 2 tablespoons of oil.  The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons which seemed like a lot to me.  I figured I could always add more if needed.  I used my hands to mix the broccoli and oil.  I determined that it really did need 3 tablespoons to coat the broccoli well, so I added the last tablespoon.  

I spread the oil coated florets on a foil lined baking sheet.  Once the oven let me know it was pre-heated, I put the baking sheet in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.   This recipe intrigued me in that it has you add additional seasoning in the middle of the cooking process.  I'm not certain why this is any better than adding these seasonings at the beginning.  Would the garlic burn?  Since I'm testing the recipe, I'll follow the instructions, but it seems like a waste of time.  

After putting the broccoli in the oven, I minced 2 cloves of garlic into a small bowl, and added 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of crushed chili peppers to it.  The next instruction was to "drizzle" this over the broccoli.  I realized that there wasn't enough of the oil/spice/garlic to drizzle over all of the broccoli.  Sleep.Love.Eat must have used an even smaller bowl than I did or they used more than 1/2 tablespoon of oil, as the picture they show of this step shows a bowl with enough oil to drizzle.    

So I transferred the seasoning mixture to a larger bowl and waited for the oven timer to go off.

When the timer went off, I transferred the broccoli to the bowl and used my tongs to coat it in the oil, pepper and garlic.

Once coated, I put the broccoli back onto the baking sheet in a single layer.  I put it back into the oven for 5 minutes.  The recipe says 8, but as I didn't want to burn the broccoli, I thought it would be better to check it at 5 minutes.  

After the 5 minutes, I decided the broccoli was done.  Here is the finished dish. 

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients: You should be able to find everything you need for this recipe pretty inexpensively at your "big box" grocery store.  I happened to have everything I needed in my pantry/refrigerator.  

Preparation & Cooking Time:  It took me just over 8 minutes to prepare the broccoli for roasting.  If you use pre-cut broccoli your preparation time could be even less. My oven was pre-heated at just under 9 minutes.  The recipe cooks for a total of 20 minutes (15+5). It took just about 3 minutes to  add the additional seasonings.   Total preparation/cooking time was 32 minutes.  

Clean Up: I cleaned up everything I used to prep the recipe while waiting for the initial 15 minute cooking time to elapse.  After making the garlic/oil/pepper seasoning mix in my smaller bowl, I had to re-dirty a larger bowl when I realized that the drizzling just wasn't going to work.  Regardless, the clean up was very minimal and everything went into the dishwasher.  My baking sheet was still clean after I removed the cooking foil.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs down!  I tried a piece right out of the oven and I was really disappointed.  The broccoli was dry.  It tasted burnt.  Yes, it was browned from roasting but I don't think it was burnt in the beyond the point at which this recipe should have been cooked sense.  The chili peppers add a heat that will build as you eat more of the broccoli.  I couldn't taste any of the garlic.  I felt like I had wasted two perfectly good crowns of broccoli.  

I did eat some as leftovers and a I still didn't like it.  

It's possible that I don't like roasted broccoli.  I'll try a different roasted broccoli recipe before swearing off the concept all together, but I won't be making this recipe again.  Do you have a good roasted broccoli recipe to share?