Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

I've never really watched Barefoot Contessa, but the other day I was flipping through the channels and had to stop when I got to the Food Network. Ina Garten was making a mustard topping for red snapper that looked absolutely mouthwatering. That aptly named "Fast and Fabulous" episode grabbed my attention and did not let it go.

Now I will make that fish one of these days, but this time I just used Ina's side dishes to complement the marinated flank steak I had already planned for dinner. The Parmesan-roasted broccoli stole the show -- it was definitely my favorite part of dinner. What's not to love? Lemon zest and juice to perk it up... pine nuts for a little texture... and need I explain the merits of garlic and cheese?

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli (from "Fast and Fabulous" episode of Barefoot Contessa)

Ingredients (recipe cut down to make 2 servings plus leftovers)

2 pounds broccoli
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
grated zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon julienned fresh basil leaves (about 6 leaves)

Directions (with minor changes)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut broccoli florets (make this easier -- use a bag of florets) and discard the stalks.

Line a sheet pan with foil and fit the florets on it in a single layer.

Sprinkle with garlic slices and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot. (I kept mine wrapped in the foil I baked it on for a few minutes while I finished making the rest of dinner.)

Check out the Food Network for the original recipe. And also see this other garlicky broccoli recipe I tried and loved!

Leftover Tip: Take it for lunch!
Simply make some pasta, add the broccoli and some halved grape tomatoes, and drizzle everything with olive oil. It's great reheated in the microwave. The tomatoes soften, the Parmesan melts, and the smell of roasted garlic and basil takes over.

And I need a little advice: Are you a fan of Ina? If I were to buy a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, which do you recommend?