Roasted broccoli tossed with sliced toasted almonds, red pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice, and aged pecorino cheese. Aka. ‘crack broccoli’. You won’t be able to stop eating this delicious side dish! Vegetarian and naturally gluten free.
- 1 and ½ pounds broccoli crowns (roughly 2 heads)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed
- large pinch of dried red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons raw, sliced almonds (with or without skin)
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 – 3 tablespoons freshly grated aged pecorino cheese
- zest of half a lemon
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Important Note: I use a separate oven thermometer to ensure that my oven is calibrated properly. The high temperature ensures even and deep caramelization (and extra crispy, flavorful florets!). If your oven runs hot (you can check this by using an oven thermometer) or you prefer less crispy florets, reduce the oven temperature to 425F - 450F and adjust cooking time as necessary.
- Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Trim any dry, tough ends of the broccoli crowns, leaving roughly 2-inches of stalk attached. Slice the broccoli into ½-inch-thick steaks, starting in the center of each broccoli crown and working out to the edges, reserving any small or medium florets that fall off for roasting. Slice any large remaining florets in half lengthwise.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pressed garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the broccoli steaks and toss gently until evenly coated. Arrange the broccoli, cut-side down, on the lined sheet pan, setting them apart slightly. Sprinkle with salt.
- Roast the broccoli for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the broccoli, and sprinkle the almond slices evenly across the sheet pan. Roast for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is evenly caramelized and fork tender, and the almond slices are toasted and golden.
- Transfer the broccoli to a platter, toss gently with the lemon juice and top with the grated pecorino cheese. Garnish with fresh lemon zest. Serve hot or at room temperature (it also tastes great cold). Leftover broccoli can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- If you’re having difficulty slicing the broccoli into ‘steaks’- medium florets will also work, but you may need to reduce the oven temperature and roasting time to ensure that they do not burn. Make sure your broccoli pieces are consistent in size (if the pieces vary in size, they will cook unevenly) and they are spread into an even, thin layer. Ideally when roasting, you want the vegetables notto touch each other on the sheet pan. Crowding will result in uneven cooking, less caramelization, and longer cook times.
- Many home ovens have not been calibrated recently and can be off by as much as 50 degrees in temperature! I highly recommend investing in a cheap oven thermometer. If your oven runs hot, I recommend reducing the oven temperature by at least 25 degrees and vice versa, and watching it carefully. The high roasting temperature, included below, produces extra crispy florets and extra caremelization (aka. flavor!).