Broccoli is my favorite vegetable. I’d go so far as to say it’s the best vegetable, but you know how insecure brussels sprouts can be.
I’ve done everything you can do with it, too–from steaming to stir-frying…
To cooking it in butter and adding adding eggs and Romano cheese to make my mother’s specialty side dish, creatively titled, Broccoli and Eggs.
But then, two years ago, I roasted it for the first time.
Daniel and I loved it immediately. It caramelized in the oven–almost to the point of sweetness, but balanced from the fact that it’s salted and slightly charred from the high heat.
We started eating a big pile of it every night with dinner–and by big I mean, a head for each of us, and that only really becomes weird for the cashier at the grocery store every day who has to wonder what we’re doing with that much broccoli.
I’ve always thought, though, that in losing weight and maintaining mine for six years now, that fruits and vegetables make all of eating healthy easier. In finding vegetables I love, as madly as I do crispy broccoli, I discovered I could eat anything.
In theory, of course I can. Anyone can. But in practice, it becomes more difficult.
Because when I lost 135 pounds and realized what an “actual” serving of pasta was, and recognized that a serving of chips was closer to 12 than 120…I was certain I’d never be able to have those foods again and feel full ever again.
But slowly, that changed when I began eating more veggies. When I started pairing whatever meal I craved with a mound of vegetables, I found that I felt the fullness I needed and wanted while also satisfying the craving.
I started filling half of my plate with vegetables, and then eating those first. And I didn’t just quarantine any green thing on my dinner plate and promise myself I’d eat it for health’s sake; I found out which vegetables tasted best to me and experimented with different methods of cooking them. I bought a new and different veggie each Sunday at the market. I used herbs and spices. I learned that roasting vegetables in a burning hot oven makes for sweetness without added sugar.
Each night as I cooked dinner, I made sure that I paired that perfect square of lasagna, those two slices of my favorite spicy caramelized onion pizza, the two tacos — with at least double that of vegetables.
And in time, I trusted that I could eat what I craved and always feel full.
So without further ado, I present to you my favorite vegetable: roasted broccoli.
- 2 pounds broccoli chopped into florets
- 1 garlic clove minced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or any oil you like
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easier clean-up). Combine the broccoli, optional garlic, and olive oil and toss well with your hands to coat the florets as evenly as you can. Sprinkle evenly with salt. Roast until the florets have begun to blacken, about 20 minutes.