Roasted broccoli is without a doubt my favorite vegetable dish. I like broccoli prepared almost any way, but roasting it in the oven with olive oil, salt and garlic brings on a new depth of flavor that is at times both a little nutty and very slightly sweet.
But to turn my favorite vegetable side dish into something I can eat as an entree or as a souped-up side for guests is really something special.
And it’s still quick and easy, taking less than 25 minutes from first wash of the broccoli to serving warm. All you have to do is roast the broccoli, and while that’s in the oven prepare your favorite small grain couscous (I like using whole wheat) and toast a handful of sliced almonds. Then toss it all together and serve.
Please, I beg of you, use those broccoli stems! They’re the best part of the broccoli in both taste and nutrition. All you have to do is peel off the thick outer layer and then slice the stalk into thin coins. So delicious!
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Broccoli Couscous – makes 2 entree portions or 4 side servings
2 heads broccoli
1 teaspoon salt
8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup dry whole wheat couscous
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
To cook the broccoli, preheat the oven to 400°F. Chop the broccoli florets into small pieces (the little buds should still stay together). Peel the stalk with a vegetable peeler and trim any small stems; slice thin.
On a baking sheet or in a baking dish, toss the broccoli with the salt, pepper, garlic and enough oil to coat. The broccoli should be packed close together but still rest in a single layer. Roast the broccoli in the oven until tender, about 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and toss with lemon zest, lemon juice, and grated Parmesan cheese.
To make the couscous: Prepare the couscous while the broccoli is roasting. Combine the water, oil and salt in a small pot set over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil stir in the couscous and remove the pot from the heat. Cover and let the couscous sit 5 to 8 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
To toast the almonds: Pour the sliced almonds into a small saute pan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the almonds are warm a lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Be sure to stay near the pan because almonds can burn quickly.
To serve: Toss the couscous, broccoli and almonds together in a large bowl then serve warm.