Chef Valentine’s Day Recipe: Crispy Roasted Broccoli
“My favorite of the cruciferous family. With this dish, the humble broccoli can steal the show. All of those crunchy, roasted edges are dressed up in a bright and lemony dressing. The almonds, fluffy cheese and a few healthy cranks of fresh black pepper take it to a luxurious yet simple place that any home cook can achieve. Pro Tip: Make sure to leave a good bit of the stalk on the crowns. These are the best and most overlooked part of the broccoli crown.” – Chef Jonathan Searle
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- 2 medium sized broccoli crowns
- 3 brown anchovy filets
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups canola/neutral vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp red pepper flake
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 4 oz block parmesan cheese
- 2 oz marcona almonds
- salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper
For the dressing. Add the garlic, chili flake and anchovy filets to the food processor bowl, attach the lid. Using the pulse button, pulse until the anchovy, chili flake and garlic are well chopped and incorporated. Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs. Place the yolks in the bowl of the food processor. Set the whites aside for another use. Turn the processor on and begin slowly adding the canola oil in a thin drizzle. The yolks and oil will combine and begin to thicken. Add a few drops of water along the way to thin the dressing. Continue adding the oil. With the processor still spinning, add half of the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan and 1 teaspoon of salt. Turn off the processor and taste. Add more lemon juice and salt to taste. The sauce should be very bright and bold. It should be thick enough to easily coat the broccoli but still spoon-able. If the sauce is too thin turn the processor on and add a touch more oil until thickened slightly. The sauce will hold for up to 3 days sealed and refrigerated.
For the Broccoli. Preheat oven to 425F. Wash the broccoli thoroughly and pat dry. Cut the thickest part of the stalk off the broccoli. Using the tip of your knife and cutting from the root end, cut natural looking pieces about two inches wide and with 1-2 smaller stems connected together. We are going for a fork-and-knife size pieces. If the broccoli pieces are too small they will overcook before they get the crispy charred edges. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with enough oil to coat and salt to taste. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and lay the broccoli out in a single layer with space between the pieces. If the broccoli is too close it will try to steam instead of roast properly. Place the broccoli on the middle rack of your preheated oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. Check the broccoli for doneness. You are going for firm tender and crispy on the edges. Most likely, it will need another 10 minutes. If so, just rotate the pan and set another timer for 10. Adjust by five-minute intervals beyond that point if needed.
To finish and serve. Rough chop the marcona almonds. Plate the broccoli and generously drizzle the sauce. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Using the microplane grater, grate a large fluffy pile of parmesan all over the top. Grind several cranks of black pepper over the cheese and serve.