I think it’s time for me to confess my cookbook obsession. I have been collecting cookbooks for 40 years and have never discarded a single one. I just keep adding to my collection no matter how hard I try to stop myself. I just can’t stop! I read through them like novels, earmarking recipes I would like to try. I set challenges for myself to make a new dish from a cookbook every week. I don’t always succeed, but I love the challenge. And then there are the cooking magazines that I also collect. I save years worth of these magazines, before I can unwillingly throw them out, but not before I rip out the recipes that I promise myself I will make. I have these recipes filed away in folders along with all my handwritten ones. What am I thinking? Do I think I will live to be 120 years old and cook every day for the rest of my life?! Or maybe it just makes me feel good to see all these familiar friends (oh yes, I feel chummy with some of my favorite cookbook authors) on my kitchen shelves and in different parts of the house.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because from time to time, I’m going to share some of my all time favorite recipes from my favorite cookbooks. As I said, I consider many of these authors to be my “friends.” After all, many of them have been on TV daily for many years. They came into my home both in printed word, as well as through the media. I watched and read them while my children were home sick from school, or during late sleepless nights. I have had breakfast with them, as well as an evening cocktail or glass of wine. Many of these books and recipes hold memories for me. And many are just simply delicious and I would like to share them with you. Even though I sometimes change a thing or two in the recipe, I like to give credit to these old (imaginary) friends, just as I do with my family and friends.
This Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. I love her cooking show and her cookbooks are fabulous. Her recipes are simple and delicious. I love roasting vegetables. They stay so crisp, and roasting really brings out their flavor. I don’t think a week goes by that I am not making one of her many roasted vegetable recipes. I hope you enjoy this one.
4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 TBSP. freshly squeezed lemon juice. (I use more as I love lemons)
3 TBSP. pine nuts, roasted (I use about 6 TBSP)
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 TBSP. julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. You should have about 8 cups of florets.
3. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 TBSP olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of the florets are browned.
5. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan and basil. Serve hot.