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Roast Your Way to Intensely Caramelized Broccoli
Nicole from A Modest Feast found the smallest lessons make the biggest impact.
09-26-2018
America's Test Kitchen

The first cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen devoted to the art and science of roasting, How to Roast Everything pulls together decades of test kitchen experience and knowledge to help you roast everything from meat and fish to vegetables and fruit.


 

When Nicole from A Modest Feast was flipping through our new cookbook, How to Roast Everything, her first instinct was to flip past this seemingly-basic recipe for roasted broccoli. 

“That would have been a mistake,” she wrote. “Sure, I know my way around the kitchen, but with cooking, and many things in life, it’s often the small lessons and tweaks to technique that make the biggest impact.”

On the surface, perhaps broccoli’s awkward shape, tough stems, and shrubby florets may make it a poor candidate for roasting. However, success in roasting comes down to how we cut it up: we cut the crowns into wedges and the trimmed stalks into thick plants to maximize direct contact with the sheet pan, thereby increasing its flavor-boosting browning.

So what makes this roasted broccoli recipe so good, according to Nicole?

“It’s the small details—adding a pinch of sugar to the broccoli and preheating the pan till it’s rip-roaringly hot—that make it next level,” she writes. “These two tweaks lead to intense caramelization, resulting in broccoli that’s shockingly addictive.”

Preheating the baking sheet on the lowest rack of a 500-degree oven meant that the broccoli would sizzle and sear on contact. Adding a half of a teaspoon of sugar along with oil, garlic, salt, and pepper speeds up caramelization. The result? Crisp-tipped florets and blistered and browned stalks with subtly sweet flavor.

BOOKSTORE

How to Roast Everything

The first cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen devoted to the art and science of roasting, pulling together decades of test kitchen experience and knowledge to help you roast everything from meat and fish to vegetables and fruit.
 

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