Broccoli has a lot of possibilities per bite, and Phoebe Canakis of Phoebe’s Pure Food in Lancaster County has a simple, palate-rich recipe of Roasted Broccoli that works great with broccoli available at Wolff’s Apple House in autumn. The pairing of cauliflower is always another add-on option, too.
For many years, Canakis published an online magazine quarterly (Phoebe’s Pure Food was its moniker) which housed many a recipe from regional appreciators of locally raised food.
“Cruciferous veggies are SUPER FOODS in that they are rich in phytonutrients, especially the richly colored veggies,” Canakis explains. “They are also a great source of fiber.”
So it’s nice to know that you’re being kind to your body with each chomp of these little baby treetops known as broccoli. Canakis’ Roasted Broccoli recipe serves four to six people.
“It is said that vegetables in this family, in particular, are great anti-cancer fighters and are helpful in healthy liver function,” she adds.
“My husband never tolerated Brussels sprouts or broccoli until I introduced him to this way of enjoying them,” Canakis notes. “Let’s get out of the boil-it vegetable standard. No one really likes boiled, mushy vegetables.”
Canakis recommends checking on the recipe halfway into its oven time to ensure that the veggies and cuts of garlic don’t burn.
“You really can’t go wrong with this recipe, and there are so many ways to use the extras, so it’s kind of like all the things you can do with a whole roasted chicken,” she says.
“If you use cauliflower, consider adding your favorite curry powder, pre-roasting. If it’s a cruciferous vegetable, you can roast it,” she says. “Roasting cruciferous vegetables brings out a surprising sweetness that you can enjoy hot, alone, chilled, in a chilled salad or puréed into a soup.”
And Canakis is quick to point out the benefits of buying broccoli and cauliflower which is grown in and around our hometowns.
“If you are buying locally and from the farm stand, you can get a head of broccoli or cauliflower for a few dollars and serve 4 to 6 people. It’s the perfect dish to warm the kitchen,” she says. “When buying locally, you are getting cruciferous veggies at the peak of their nutritional value.”
Onward with the cruciferous veggie appreciation in autumn!
“It’s cheap, easy, supports local growers and is SO versatile!” Canakis says with beaming enthusiasm for this pro-broccoli dish.
- 1 head of broccoli
- 2 garlic bulbs, quartered
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread with 1 teaspoon olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Remove the main stem of the broccoli, leaving 2 inches of the stem on the florets. Cut each floret in half.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer layer of the stem and cut it into cubes.
- Toss the florets, stems and garlic in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil; spread on the baking sheet, being sure not to crowd the sheet (there should be space between the florets and cubes). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 8 to 15 minutes. Check halfway through, and toss to prevent burning.
Roasted Broccoli and Pasta: Toss with whole wheat pasta and freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese and olive oil or ricotta. Sprinkle with hot pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Green Machine Soup: Purée with sautéed onions, vegetable broth, cooked potatoes, Parmesan cheese, and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, turkey bacon and fresh chives or green onions.
Chilled Salad: Toss with cooked quinoa/buckwheat pasta, sliced red bell peppers, sliced nappa cabbage, green onions, peanuts, and peanut/tahini dressing (peanut butter/tahini, fresh garlic, lemon juice, tamari).