Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eat: Broccoli even my dog can enjoy

Around Thanksgiving, I wrote about my dog's favorite Brussels Sprouts.  I was pretty amazed that a dog whose diet consists mainly of raw beef could be enticed by a Brussels Sprout.  I am even more in awe, though, of her love of this broccoli recipe, which, unlike the other dish, includes no meat at all. 

This Oven Roasted Broccoli recipe by Alton Brown is quick enough for a weeknight and tasty enough even for those of us who are not broccoli fans.  What I love about it is the texture; while broccoli is so often served as an oversteamed pile of mush, this is crisp and really flavorful.  The stems are truly a revelation.  I always thought that stems served only as a cost cutting measure in school cafeterias, augmenting a pile of soggy florets; here, though, they add great texture and with the salt and garlic are almost chip-like.

The dog agrees.  If only I could get the kids on board.

Ingredients    

1 head of broccoli

1/3 cup of panko

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper  (A pinch of red pepper flakes might be nice here, but I don't think it would sit well with the dog.)

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 425.

While the oven heats, chop the broccoli.  Start with the stem, slicing it into thin rounds and then break down the top into bite-sized florets.

Chop the garlic into very small pieces.  The cook time is short, so you want to make sure that it is small enough to cook through to avoid a raw garlic taste.

Once you've chopped the broccoli and garlic, put it in a large bowl and toss it with the oil, salt and pepper.

Next, pour the panko into a 9x12 cake pan and brown it in the oven.  This step wil probably take two minutes.  Be attentive, as it burns quickly.

Once the panko is browned,  pour it from the pan into the bowl with the broccoli, toss it around and reurn the whole mixture back to the panRoast it in the oven for 10 minutes.

While the broccoli is roasting, wipe the bowl clean and add the grated cheese.  Save yourself some dishes by grating the cheese directly into the bowl.

After 10 minutes of roasting, return the broccoli to the bowl and toss it with the cheese.  If you wish, grate a little additional cheese over the top and serve immediately.

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