Roasted Brassicas

Roasting is an easy way to prepare any of the stalky brassica varieties, including broccoli, cauliflower, broccoflower, broccolini, and so forth.

Preheat an oven to 400° or so.

Prepare a baking sheet or shallow metal roasting pan. (Optionally lining it with foil or parchment simplifies cleanup.)

Cut the brassicas into florets. (Broccolini stalks are so small they don’t need to be separated.) If any florets are much larger than the others, split them in half. Discard leaves. Cut medium-sized stem pieces into halves or quarters, while discarding the largest stalks if they seem overly tough or fibrous.

Measure out some olive oil. For two stalks of broccoli or one head of cauliflower, you’ll need around a half cup of oil.

Add salt and seasonings to the oil: flaky salt is nice, and maybe a crushed clove of garlic, and some black pepper, or paprika, or a few heavy shakes of whatever herbs you like. If you like things sweet, add drizzle of maple syrup. If you like things tangy, try a bit of balsamic vinegar. Finely-grated parmesan cheese makes for a nice crust.

Stir or shake to combine and distribute the seasonings throughout the oil, and then drizzle over the brassicas, using tongs or a spoon to toss the vegetables as you drizzle the oil to ensure that they are evenly coated.

Spread evenly in the pan, making sure they’re in a single layer rather than piled up, and place in the oven.

Roast for about 15-25 minutes. Start checking them for doneness at 15 minutes. Broccolini might be done at this point, while cauliflower will almost certainly need longer. Pull them out when they’re starting to brown around the edges, and the largest pieces are tender all the way through.

If you don’t eat them all on the spot, they keep well in the fridge, reheat easily, and are also presentable cold.

Two stalks of broccoli, sectioned
Olive oil with salt and seasonings
Seasoned broccoli spread out on the roasting pan
The delicious results

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