Conventional thought rarely yields surprises. This under-rated vegetable suffers from a lack of endeavour and imagination in most kitchens. Steamed or stir-fried seems to be its common fate. Most things can be improved with time in a hot oven, some fat and the correct seasoning. Broccoli benefits more than most, with the oven releasing its umami potential.
You can roast the lemon half with the broccoli and then squeeze the juices over the cooked broccoli. This deliciousness can be compounded by the addition of a good dash of fine balsamic vinegar. Also try roasting broccolini, kale or cavalo nero (a variety of kale) for similar gustatory splendour.
Time: 30 minutes
- 2 heads broccoli
- 50ml virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- Murray river pink salt
- 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
Peel the skin from the broccoli stems and cut the whole heads of broccoli lengthways into quarters. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the broccoli in a heavy baking dish and splash over the olive oil. Season with the chilli, pepper and pink salt to taste.
Bake for 15–20 minutes until the broccoli is golden brown. Just before serving, add the lemon zest and a good squeeze of the juice.
Recipe taken from Best Kitchen Basics, by Mark Best
Best Kitchen Basics beats the revolutionary drum in the domestic kitchen – no longer are high-end techniques or recipes the sole domain of multi-award-winning restaurants like Mark Best’s Sydney fine diner Marque and his bistros Pei Modern in Melbourne and Sydney. Here, Mark Best breaks it down, putting the individual elements of each recipe into the home cook’s hands and empowering them to think differently. It includes 100 original recipes built around 30 accessible ingredients – from eggplant and pumpkin to chocolate and eggs. You can purchase Best Kitchen Basics at cooked.com.
Published by Hardie Grant