Broccoli Advice
November 14th, 2008 by Mike

I got a message from a blog reader asking for some advice on how I do my roasted broccoli. I thought my response might be worth sharing.

Cut the florets into manageable pieces. Since you’re making large quantities, I’d keep the pieces a little larger. It’ll take slightly longer to cook, but it’ll also prevent them from getting mushy. You’re going for a a crunchy texture. The idea is to have them cooked without being overcooked.  I use the stalks, too. Just keep them slightly smaller than the florets because they take longer to cook.

Here are a few tidbits…
* Toss it in a very large bowl. It’s easier than doing it on the sheet pan.
* Use olive oil, not extra virgin olive oil. This is not the time to use expensive oil.
* Don’t even think about using iodized salt. Forget the blue box. Go for the red box of kosher salt or even sea salt.
* Grind your pepper fresh, but I wouldn’t stand over a large bowl with a pepper mill. Put whole peppercorns in a spice mill, coffee grinder, or Magic Bullet. Yes, I use my magic bullet for this. It works great.
* Just when you think you’ve added too much salt, throw on a little more. Remember that the two worst things you can do to any piece of food is underseason or overcook it.

I wouldn’t use the broiler.  I roast my broccoli at 400 or 425 for 10 to fifteen minutes on a sheet pan. You want it to just show signs of charring without burning. I tend to put foil down on the sheet pan to make cleanup easier. Regardless, spray the sheet pan with some canola oil to minimize sticking. In the summer, you can totally do this on the grill, too.

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