Roasting is my favorite trick when it comes to vegetable preparation. First, the time and effort required is minimal – what could be easier than drizzling a little olive oil and sticking your pan in the oven to do its thing? Second, the high heat makes for incredible caramelization and an amazing richness of flavor. Seriously, the layers of tastiness that develop during the roasting process far surpass anything you might get with steamed or boiled veggies.
I often roast broccoli as a side for dinner, and usually stick to the basic seasonings: some olive oil, salt, and pepper, plus a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving. This time, however, I wanted to try something a little different. I pictured the roasted florets topped with rich, melty cheese and a sprinkling of hot chili flakes, and knew I needed to make this dish happen ASAP. I chose to combine mild, super creamy mozzarella with parmesan for a fresh and nutty flavor duo. Both of these cheeses melt beautifully with just a couple minutes in the oven. Spicy chili and savory herbs are the perfect compliment, taking this vegetable dish over the top. Try pairing this broccoli with any of your favorite Italian-style main dishes – I’m picturing lamb meatballs, breaded eggplant, or roasted chicken.
Cheesy Roasted Broccoli
Adapted from Relish
Makes 4 servings
- 1 head broccoli
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Cut broccoli into florets. Spread onto a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast broccoli until browned and tender, about 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle with cheese, chili flakes, and oregano. Continue baking until cheese is melted, about 5 more minutes.
- Squeeze lemon juice over broccoli and serve warm.