Growing up, fresh veggies were an infrequent visitor to our table. Frozen vegetables? Yup, and far preferable to their mutant cousins, canned vegetables, which also often accompanied our meals. (Can you say “canned peas”? Yuck!) But fresh? That came later when I was much older. I’m sure my mom found it easier with a house full of kids to rely on quick, easy alternatives–I know I love keeping those steam-in-a-bag veggies on hand because my kids can prepare them by themselves. I can’t really blame her.
As I grew older, I learned the magic of steaming fresh vegetables and my world was turned upside down. This helped retain the crispness and keep the flavor fresh. But despite this magic, the veggies were still lacking, somehow. Butter helped, but it wasn’t enough. There was something missing.
Then I learned how to roast vegetables.
I always knew about roasting potatoes and carrots and onions–a large bowl overflowing with them has been present at Thanksgiving holidays, year after year. But did you know you can roast other vegetables? Not only that, did you know that roasting them would be life-changing? It is! And it’s oh-so-easy, too!
All you need to do is toss your cut vegetables (in this case, broccoli) with some olive oil, season, and set in the oven for 20 minutes or so. The process seals in the flavor and enhances it. There’s just no beating roasted vegetables!
For my roasted broccoli, I like adding grated Parmesan and Romano cheese to kick it up a notch. Yup, the stuff in the shaker canister. I know I should be ashamed. I should tell you to freshly grate it, but I’m all about the ease. It’s part of the appeal of this dish. You could almost make this in your sleep. But please don’t–like the hairdryers with silly warnings about not operating while unconscious, you know better than that.
Which vegetables do you prefer roasted?
Roasted Parmesan Broccoli
- 12 ounces broccoli florets
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan & Romano cheese yup, from the shaker canister
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl toss the florets and olive oil. Add the grated cheese and toss until evenly coated.
- Spread on the prepared baking sheet and bake on the center rack for 20 minutes, stirring and rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.
- Serve immediately.