Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NomNomPaleo Roasted Broccoli & Bacon

Shortly after posting my last roasted broccoli review, someone named Lisa, submitted a suggestion through my nifty recipe request widget that I review NomNomPaleo's Roasted Broccoli & Bacon recipe.  Sara H. also commented on that post inquiring about the NomNomPaleo broccoli.  I knew then I had no choice but to try out NomNomPaleo's recipe.  I waited a few weeks to get my last less than stellar experience out of my mind and then I took to the kitchen.  

First I gathered my ingredients.  
NomNomPaleo didn't wash her broccoli, but I did.  As you can see there appears to have been a rush on broccoli the day I got the crowns I used, so I had to wash them.  After washing the broccoli and patting it dry, I cut the crowns into florets.  I turned the oven on to pre-heat to 400.  

As I cut up the broccoli, I added it to a 1 gallon resealable bag.  I splurged at the grocery store and got some pre-peeled garlic.  I added 5 cloves to the bag.  Sometimes its nice to not have garlic skin stuck to your fingers.  

Then I sliced the bacon into pieces and added it to the bag.  

The next instruction is to add a "few good glugs of macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, melted ghee or melted lard."  I had avocado oil in my pantry so that's what I used.  I'm not certain how much oil is in a glug.  Unfortunately, unweighed unmeasured paleo doesn't work for me yet, so I don't do much glugging around my house.  Using my last roasted broccoli experience as a guide, I used 3 tablespoons.  I wished I'd looked a little more on her site as I would have found this Roasted Broccoli with Crispy Prosciutto & Balsamic Vinegar to use as a guideline.  In that recipe, she says she uses 2 tablespoons of fat.  

She says to use a "generous amount of salt," so I also added 2 teaspoons to the bag.  I also ground some fresh pepper over the bag.  I didn't measure it.  Sorry.  I just stopped grinding when it looked right to me.  Pepper is a personal thing so what looks right to me may be way too much or too little for you.  I wouldn't say I added more than a teaspoon.  

Next, I sealed the bag and gave it a good shake until it looked like everything was coated with oil.  I spread the broccoli, bacon and garlic over a foil lined baking sheet.  

Here is my tray of broccoli before putting it in the oven.  
The instructions are to flip the broccoli in 10 minute increments, so that's what I did.  After 10 minutes in the oven, here is the tray.
After 10 minutes more, here is the tray again.  Each time I checked the broccoli, I used tongs to turn it.  I did not rotate the entire tray as dictated in the recipe.  Shame on me.  

After 10 minutes more, I decided the broccoli was done.  Here's my finished bowl of broccoli.

Yum sums this up.
Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  You should be able to find all of the ingredients for this recipe at your big box grocery store with maybe the exception of the avocado oil.  I don't think my big box carries it. This is the brand of olive oil I used and though I couldn't find the receipt, I think it cost about as much as Amazon is selling it for at Whole Foods.  I'll put it on my list things to check the next time I go to the store.  

Would another oil other than the ones listed work; say olive oil or coconut oil?  I'm going to be bold and say no.  In fact, I think that the use of olive oil in the failed roasted broccoli recipe I made likely is what made it fail.  I'm going to guess that Michelle chose the oils she listed because they have a high smoke point.  Avocado has the highest smoke point of all the fats she recommends and a much higher smoke point than than olive oil or coconut oil.  The next closest paleo friendly fat with a smoke point closer to avocado oil appears to be ghee.  Ghee and bacon might be overkill for me but maybe not for you.  I like to use Applegate Farms bacon which is a little more expensive ($4.99 a package) than the brands my big box grocery store carries, but I think the quality justifies it.  

Preparation & Cooking Time: It took me just over 14 minutes to prepare the broccoli to go into the oven.  I roasted the broccoli for 30 minutes.  

Clean Up:  Clean up is a breeze!  Throw away the resealable plastic bag: check.  Crumple up tin foil: check.  Put cutting board, knife and measuring spoons in the dishwasher: check.  

A clean baking sheet!
The Paleo Review:  Thumbs up!  This broccoli tastes fantastic.  This recipe makes me glad I did not let my last roasted broccoli experience put me off the concept all together.  This time, the broccoli had a little bit of char, but that was not the predominant flavor.  The broccoli was not dry either.  The next time I make it I will only use 1 teaspoon of salt as it seemed just a bit salty for my taste.  You might think I would say the best part of the flavor is the bacon, but actually, for me, it was the garlic.   Perhaps more accurately described as bacon grease covered roasted garlic.  I am adding more garlic the next time I make this.   

This recipe is so good, but it won't become a regular side dish for me.  Why?  I can eat the entire batch in one sitting by myself and this has way too much fat (even if I just used 2 tablespoons), albeit healthy fat, for me in one meal even if I pair it with a lean protein.  I think it may be impossible for a dish with 4 slices of bacon in it to not be scrumptious.

If you haven't tried this recipe yet, do it!