I first heard about The Barefoot Contessa’s roasted broccoli recipe a few weeks ago when I saw “The Best Broccoli You’ll Ever Make” on Pinterest. As a mom who’s always looking for new and delicious ways to prepare vegetables, I couldn’t resist a title like that!
I had to make a few tweaks to use ingredients I had on hand, but Piper took one bite of the roasted broccoli florets and declared them Broccoli Fries! It made me laugh at first, but after I tasted the crispy, lightly-salted pieces again, I had to agree that they were very slightly reminiscent of French fries.
Once we started calling the veggies Broccoli Fries, Haiden was much more willing to eat them. Personally, I’m not a vegetable lover, but I can say that this is absolutely the best broccoli I’ve ever had. It’s so good that I’m sure I’ll be making it weekly!
According to Ina Garten, AKA the Barefoot Contessa, the dish requires several fresh ingredients that might not be in your kitchen. I didn’t have a few of them, which I think kept the flavors of the dish simpler and easier for my kiddos to eat. But, hey, if you have fresh basil, lemon zest and pine nuts, by all means take a look at the original recipe for Parmesan Roasted Broccoli and incorporate them. I’m sure they’ll only add to the deliciousness!
I also scaled everything down to make a more manageable amount to feed my husband, myself and my two kids. (the first recipe calls for 4-5 POUNDS of broccoli!).
Broccoli Fries Recipe
- 1-2 pounds fresh* broccoli
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced (or 1 teaspoon minced garlic)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoons salt (Kosher or sea salt, if possible)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons parmesan* cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets. Toss the rest of the stalks. Cut the remaining pieces into finger-food size pieces.
- Wash the florets and thoroughly dry them with paper towels. Make sure they’re 100% dry. If there’s moisture, the broccoli will end up steamed and tender, not browned and crisp.
- Put the florets in a bowl and toss them with the garlic, salt and pepper and enough olive oil to coat each piece.
- Arrange the broccoli on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned. If they start to get too brown midway through cooking, flip the broccoli with a spatula to expose some not-brown parts.
- Remove from the oven and immediately toss with lemon juice and Parmesan.
The broccoli is best served hot, but my kids and I ate it cold and still thought it was absolutely delicious!
*Since we need the broccoli to be dry, it’s easiest to use fresh broccoli. I did have about a cup of frozen broccoli in my freezer, so I thawed it in a strainer with a blast of hot water, then I let it drain and blotted it with paper towels until it was dry. I kept it separate from the fresh stuff when roasting it, and it was almost as good as fresh!
**I had some romano cheese so I used that. My kids added extra Kraft parmesan “powder” cheese to theirs and it only made it better