Growing up, I loved broccoli, plain boiled and smothered with gravy. With age, however, I love it even more, with the help of this simple roasted broccoli & garlic recipe.
The variety of broccoli found in every supermarket across the country is a recent invention. The Italians call it calabrese. It’s derived from the purple variety known as purple sprouting broccoli. Purple sprouting broccoli is often found in farm shops and larger supermarkets around springtime. Purple broccoli has a leafy texture, while green calabrese broccoli has a denser mouth feel. However, little separates them in terms of taste.
Roasting broccoli may seem strange to someone who has only ever boiled the vegetable. However, the dry heat of an oven or a pan helps caramelise the sugars in the vegetable. At the same time, the florets turn crispy, offering a different complexity of textures. The added flavour of garlic helps boost the savouriness of the broccoli, making this garlic-roasted broccoli the perfect side for more robust meats such as beef.
When we talk about garlic, we refer to individual cloves without much thought. For example, this recipe calls for 3 garlic cloves sliced. However, did you know that the size of each clove will influence how strong of a flavour the garlic clove offers? Or did you know that garlic grown in warmer climates has a more pungent aroma? Therefore, the number of garlic cloves needed for any recipe will ultimately depend on personal preference. In essence, add garlic to taste.
How to Prepare the Roasted Broccoli & Garlic
To prepare the broccoli, trim off any outer leaves. Cut the broccoli into equal-sized florets, as keeping them similar will help them roast evenly. This is important as overcooking the broccoli may turn the crispy florets bitter.
Most of the stalk is often discarded. However, this dense lump contains several nutrients and is usually packed with the most flavour. It can be chopped up and roasted with the florets. Or you can use it to make soup. Either way, try not to throw it away, as it is delicious.
To prepare the garlic, peel and slice thinly with a sharp knife. This can prove quite tricky, so take your time and watch your fingers. Slicing the garlic helps keep it at a reasonable size. If we were to chop the garlic finely, we’d end up with burnt bits of garlic, impairing the flavour.
Roasted Broccoli & Garlic
- 1 300 g Broccoli Cut into Florets
- 3 Garlic Cloves Peeled and Thinly Sliced
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt / Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200C or 180C Fan or 400F or Gas 6
- In a bowl, mix the broccoli with the oil and garlic. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay the broccoli in a thin layer.
- Roast for 10 minutes, then turn over. Roast for a further 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.