Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

This broccoli is probably going to change your life. So be prepared.

The original recipe calls for pine nuts and basil, which are both completely and utterly vile in my book (don’t even get me started about pesto!), so they were omitted. If you’re into them, go for it. I think toasted slivered almonds might make a good substitute for the pine nuts. I would also recommend doubling the amount of garlic cloves. They crisp up into these amazing little garlic chips. If you’re crazy like me, you’ll want to munch on some. I also think next time (trust me there will be a next time with this broccoli), if I’m feeling a little feisty, I might even throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes. That would totally send this dish over the top.

Parmesan-Rosted Broccoli From Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, pg. 172 or here
Serves 6

  • 4-5 pounds of broccoli
  • 4-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with tinfoil.
  2. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets. Place the florets in a plastic bag, add olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and pepper. Seal bag and shake to coat broccoli.
  3. Place coated broccoli on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
  4. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan and basil and pine nuts/almonds if using.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Salad & Some Great Labor Day Sides!

This quick and tasty salad would be a perfect side dish for any barbecue you are attending this coming Labor Day weekend. The broccoli and blue cheese-buttermilk dressing go together so well and the nuts give the salad a great crunch.

If you need any inspiration for Labor Day weekend, be sure to check out these recipes as well:

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Salad (From Real Simple, September 2011, p. 236)

  • 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or almonds
  1. Steam broccoli until tender, 5 to 7 minutes; rinse with cold water to cool
  2. In a small bowl, mix together buttermilk, sour cream, blue cheese, scallion, red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Top broccoli with the buttermilk dressing and nuts.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Gluten Free Chicken, Broccoli Mac & Cheese

After spending nearly 4 hours in traffic on my drive up from work, I wanted a dinner that would be quick, fast and tasty. After a quick and fruitless Google sesh, I decided to get serious and go to a site that has rarely let me down: Real Simple. On their website, Real Simple has a ‘Dinner in 15 Minutes Flat‘ page, which is pretty much awesome, especially when you are short on time. The only thing that I found annoying about the recipe was the fact that it called for a rotisserie chicken… that would be fine and dandy, but when you get home and are looking for a quick, last minute recipe, I highly doubt you have a rotisserie chicken laying around or that you want to head back to the store to pick one up. Instead of dinner in 15, it was more like dinner in 30 since I had to roast chicken, but it was worth it.

I’m not really a fan of pasta, like I kind of hate it, which apparently makes me a crazy person according to most. I am of the school of thought that potatoes are where it’s at. Despite my misgivings about pasta, this recipe still appealed. I actually think that with a bit more broccoli, this could be served as a meal by itself without pasta and still be just as satisfying. The other good thing about this recipe, which might have been a by product of using more pasta that the original recipe called for, was the fact that there were tons of leftovers. If I had been going to work the next day, it definitely would have made for a great lunch.

Roasted Chicken Breasts

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • garlic powder
  • unsalted butter
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 lemon
Easiest roast chicken ever! The chicken definitely could have been served as is when it was done in the oven. It was very tasty by itself.
Heat oven to 400. Prepare the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with garlic powder on each side and place in baking dish. Top with a patty/slice of unsalted butter then lightly drizzle with olive oil. Top with kosher salt and generous grind of pepper. Squeeze one lemon over chicken. Cook chicken for 20-25 minutes.

(Gluten-free) Chicken Broccoli Mac & Cheese (adapted from this recipe)

  • 8 oz. dried pasta of choice (I used a 12 oz. box of gluten-free elbow pasta)
  • 2 cups of fresh broccoli florets
  • Roasted chicken breast
  • 1 5.2-oz. pkg. semisoft cheese with garlic and fine herbs (aka Boursin)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and snipped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, optional

In large saucepan cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli florets during the last 3 minutes of cooking time. While pasta is cooking, remove meat from roasted chicken. Coarsely chop chicken. Drain pasta and broccoli; set aside.

In same saucepan combine cheese, the 3/4 cup milk, tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Add pasta mixture and chicken. Heat through. If necessary, thin with additional milk. Sprinkle fresh parsley. Makes 4 servings.