Friday, November 22, 2013

Roasted Broccoli - A quick snack

Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. He was the only President I heard about a lot before coming to the US though he had died several years before I was even born. The past few weeks major newspapers, radios and TV stations have had several programs about the President. This story last evening on the radio almost had me in tears - Moved By Kennedy's Death, The Boston Symphony Played On. Then this story about this very well accomplished bugle player who missed a note which made it seem like even the bugle was weeping. Then this story about two ambulance drivers in a Dallas emergency room. NPR has become very melodramatic of late but it captures succinctly the mood of a nation which lost its young and dynamic President.

I can kind of understand the mood of a nation when the event happened. I am thinking it mood must have been quite similar to what India felt when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. A young vibrant leader cut down in the prime of life. The Gandhi family's tragedies are often compared to those of the Kennedy family. My political sensibilities weren't quite so developed at that time and I hadn't quite started to realize the damage that family has wrought on India and India perhaps has paid them many times over than they have ever done for the country. Yes I digress.

The conspiracy theories about his death are endless. A whole industry has arisen out of speculating who did it. Just like everyone else I have own but to spare you all I won't go into that. It is said that most Americans knew exactly where they were when the President was shot. Would America have been different if he had been President for longer?

Wash the broccoli thoroughly and cut them into florets. Peel the skin of the stem and dice them as well.
Mix with oil, salt and chili powder. Spread them on a greased pan which can go in a toaster

Now on to the recipe,
I was not a born broccoli lover. In fact I quit visiting an Indian restaurant which added broccoli in their vegetable briyani. Who does that? After spending a few picking broccoli out of everything I changed over a new leaf. The thing is DD as she was growing older needed to eat more green vegetables and she seemed to like broccoli and celery. Celery is not something that I am ever going to touch for the foreseeable future but broccoli could be made edible with a few simple tricks. First I tried par boiling (2 minutes in boiling water is enough) and then slightly roasting them. You do not want to eat mushy broccoli. But that seemed like one too many steps. So in the end we hit upon the perfect way to cook broccoli.

The good thing is now DD, DD2 and the 2 adults all fight over eating broccoli. I also strongly resent all the fuss sorrounding broccoli. I would not put broccoli in a sambhar or make kurma with it but a stirfry is just perfect just as long as you don't over cook it. Last weekend we were in for some luck. We went to meet this farmer, he is a part time farmer actually - his full time profession is being a veterinarian. When we saw a little over 4 years ago he had less than 1/4 acre under cultivation. Now he has about 5 acres done mostly by him. Well when we visited him most of the summer crops had already dried up and he was getting ready for the dormant winter months. But the cool weather plants were still around. He bent down pulled a few leeks and broke off a few heads of broccoli and handed it over to us.

To tell you the truth I have never tasted broccoli that was that fresh. What if there were a few worms :) I usally roast the broccoli in a toaster oven so the timing might be shorter than if you were using a conventional oven. Wait till the broccoli florets start to appear black. But be careful not to char them.

Roasted Broccoli
Preparation Time:5minutes
Cooking Time:15 minutes
  1. 2 medium heads of broccoli cut into florets and the stems skin removed and sliced
  2. 2 tsp of olive oil + cooking spray
  3. 1-2 tsp of chili powder or pepper powder
  4. 1/2 tsp of salt or to taste
  1. Wash and cut the broccoli as required. Drain the water completely or pat dry with a kitchen towel.
  2. Toss the broccoli florets with the oil, salt and chili powder.
  3. Line a pan with aluminium foil spray with oil and line the broccoli so they do not stay on top of each other.
  4. Broil for 6 minutes, turn the florets on the other side and broil for another 6 minutes. The time could vary depending on the size
    of the florets but mostly be done in around 15-16 minutes.
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  1. healthy and yummy snack :-)

  2. Hello Madam. It's a good recipe but do you understand when you do like the way you have suggested the Nutritional value is reduced drastically. I guess it's a good start for someone who doesn't like broccoli

    1. Thanks Devakumar for your comment. I do agree with you. Eating broccoli raw is not for me so the next best thing is to do something that makes it edible and also tasty.


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