It's fairly common knowledge these days that roasting broccoli is one of the best ways to eat the vegetable--the high heat cooks the florets quickly, leaving them crunchy, caramelized, and dotted with whiffs of charred goodness. But after a while, even the best roasted broccoli grows tired; it is, after all, only broccoli. Leave it to Food52 to revitalize the side dish. arielleclementine's winning wildcard recipe in The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2 tosses roasted florets with a punchy smoked paprika and garlic vinaigrette. Each branch in the broccoli "tree" soaks up the dressing like a sponge, transforming the humble brassica into a vibrant celebration of the vegetable. The final touch, a handful of salty, rich Marcona almonds, takes this dish into holiday entertaining territory.
Why I picked this recipe: Roasted broccoli is a staple in my weeknight repertoire, and I was curious how to vamp it up for holiday dinners.
What worked: The smoky-sweet dressing was a perfect complement to the caramelized broccoli. Marcona almonds were just the icing on the cake.
What didn't: The recipe instructs cooks to leave out the crunchy garlic bits and smoked paprika sitting at the bottom of the oil. I liked the dish even better when I added those back on top of the broccoli.
Suggested Tweaks: I used leftover dressing on lightly roasted kale; it would be equally wonderful on cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, or just about anything you'd want to toss in a hot oven. The recipe is also easy to scale up to serve a whole table of people.
Reprinted with permission from The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2 by Amanda Hesser and Merill Stubbs, copyright 2012. Published by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup Marcona almonds
Heat the oven to 425°F. On a large baking sheet, toss the broccoli florets with a drizzle of olive oil and a hefty sprinkling of kosher salt. Roast for 20 minutes, until brown in spots.
While the broccoli is roasting, make the vinaigrette: Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat until quite warm, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and smoked paprika and remove the pan from the heat; let stand for 10 minutes.
Put the sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the paprika oil. Try to leave most of the solids (paprika and garlic) in the skillet.
After 20 minutes, remove the broccoli from the oven and toss the Marcona almonds on top. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette, toss, and serve immediately.