Yes, Mama does like to bake. I know how I tell you all the time how I love to play gleefully in my kitchen with butter, flour and sugar. And how I take such pride in my cookies, cakes and other crumb-like creations that emanate from my oven. But, Mama’s not a one-trick pony you know. I’m well aware of the virtues of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Now that the holiday season is over and all the out-of-town guests have left, Mama’s getting back to the business of eating healthy. During the winter, when it’s even too cold in Los Angeles to use the outdoor grill, I love to roast my vegetables.
Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower are a big hit at my dinner table. Roasting the vegetables at a high temperature causes the veggies to caramelize; this is when the acid in the vegetables breaks down and the sugar is released, bringing out their natural sweetness. Be careful though not to over bake the vegetables, because limp broccoli is a real dinner downer. When I pull the tray out of the oven, I use a metal spatula to scoop up all those tasty brown bits on the sheet pan because that’s where all the flavor is. It’s fresh, it’s simple and it just tastes darn good.
Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower
- 1 1/2 lb. broccoli, washed and cut in large chunks (leave about 1 1/2″ of stems)
- 1 1/2 lb. cauliflower, washed and cut into large chunks
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon, fresh ground pepper
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and place oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
- Wash the broccoli and cauliflower under cool water and cut them into large chunks. Leave about 1 1/2″ of the stems on the broccoli. Dry with a paper towel.
- Thinly slice the 4 cloves of garlic.
- Place the broccoli, cauliflower and garlic onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables and garlic with olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. With your hands, toss to evenly coat all the ingredients.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife. Be careful not to over-bake the vegetables, you still want a little crunch in them. Halfway through baking, take the pan out and toss the vegetables so all sides will brown.
- While the vegetables are baking, toast your pine nuts in a small frying pan (dry, no oil in the pan) over medium heat. Stir them constantly so they do not burn. This will only take a few minutes. When they start to caramelize, remove them from the heat and transfer to a small bowl.
- When the veggies are done, transfer them to a serving bowl. Use a metal spatula to get all those little bits and pieces off the baking sheet because that stuff is full of flavor. Toss in the pine nuts. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the veggies and serve immediately.
To toast the pine nuts; place in a small frying pan (dry, no oil) over medium heat stirring constantly so the nuts do not burn. When they get a little golden brown in color, remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl.
When roasting the vegetables, spread them out in one layer on the baking sheet. Don’t crowd the vegetables or stack. Use two baking sheets if you need to, but you want all the vegetables exposed to the heat.