Monday, February 22, 2010

my new best friend

there's someone I'd like you to meet.
you've met him before, but perhaps not like this.
he's even better this time around and you will quite possibly love him.
here's the deal with picky eaters:
chances are you don't like something because all you've known is a badly prepared vegetable.
most of us don't like green beans because all we've ever known is the greenish-yellowish, limp tubes sitting on the corner of our lunch trays at school.
most of us don't like mushrooms because all we've ever known is that unindentifiable goopy, gray sludge out of a cream of mushroom soup can.
in order for food to be loved, it needs to be treated with love.
try tasting a perfectly seared mushroom with a good sprinkle of salt and then telling me you don't like it.
or a caramelized brussel sprout. or a sauteed, bright green, crisp green bean.
so let's talk broccoli.

here's a vegetable that, unless smothered in cheese, is disliked by almost everybody.
including me.
but broccoli can truly be delicious if just given the chance.
take a big head of broccoli and hack away until you get little florets.
and please do not throw away the stems. they give remarkable flavor to soups.
spread the florets out on a sheet tray.
olive oil (you don't need much). salt. pepper. maybe even garlic powder if you're feeling wild and frisky.
roast it. roast it for about 20 minutes at 400degrees.
the edges will get dark and crisp and irresistably delicious.
right at the 20 minutes, take out the tray and sprinkle on some grated parmesan cheese. throw it back in the oven for about a minute more.
the cheese will melt and give the broccoli and even crispier outer coating, along with another layer of salt.
plate it up with, say, a vegetable rice pilaf and some breaded chicken cutlets, and I think you've got yourself an absolutely perfect tuesday night dinner.

so say hello to broccoli, your new best friend.

though I must confess: no matter how you cook em, I just loathe peas.

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