Lately I haven't been watching much Food Network beyond Iron Chef America, but since the prospect of doing some work on a future prime-time show on the network has been dangled in front of me like a carrot, I thought I'd bone up on their offerings. In particular was the show that seems like it might be the closest in nature to the project I mentioned—Good Eats with Alton Brown. (Don't get too excited, I'll let you know more about it if the network picks up the pilot.)
So anyway, I happened to catch Alton's episode on broccoli, which happens to be one of my favorite veggies. Did you know that microwaving broccoli renders up to 90% of its nutrients more-or-less worthless? Yeah... So I'm going to have to stop nuking it instead of blanching it like I was taught to do in culinary school. (You know you'd take that shortcut too if you were cooking for just yourself...)
I like Alton's recipe for Oven Roasted Broccoli because it doesn't require a lot of prep time aside from cutting the broccoli into florets and it's a hell of a lot more interesting than steamed broccoli, which is the other way Alton suggests cooking broccoli. When he roasts it, he tosses in some toasted breadcrumbs and garlic along with the ubiquitous roasting trio of olive oil, salt and pepper. After it's out of the oven, he adds some cheese. I forgot the garlic since I made this from memory a couple days after watching the episode and went with Parmesan instead of sharp cheddar. It was still delicious, though! The breadcrumbs add some textural interest and the roasting really changed the broccoli's flavor, making it almost nutty-tasting.