For most of my life, my relationship with vegetables was very comme ci, comme ca. They were a bland bump on the road to healthy living. I didn't eat them willingly. I ate them grudgingly, with resentment. "Fifty grown-up points to me," I would mutter, and then slice myself a large piece of chocolate cake as a reward.
And then, a few years ago, I discovered roasted vegetables. I'm not exaggerating when I say something changed in me that day.
"This? This crispy, salty, creamy thing is a vegetable?!? This is AMAZING. This is luscious. This is something I would crave."
Ever since, I've been a roasting mad-woman, willing to throw almost any vegetable in a rip-roaring oven to see what delightful thing might come out.
I hesitate to call this is a recipe; it's more a technique that can be applied to just about any vegetable you have in the crisper. The basic concept is high heat + oiled veggies = caramelized sugars, browned proteins, crispy exteriors, creamy interiors. But today we'll use it on broccoli, cauliflower, because roasting transforms these scorned veggies into Most Popular in Class. Once you master this recipe, feel free to go crazy. I've roasted sweet potatoes, red potatoes, carrots, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, peppers, mushrooms, onions, butternut squash and zucchini with great success.
And now, when I need a reward, I roast some veggies and eat the whole pan.
And then I have a slice of chocolate cake too. Because why limit a good thing?
Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
1 head broccoli
1 head cauliflower
3-5 garlic gloves, unpeeled
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite-sized florets, about 1" to 1-1/2" each.
3. In a big bowl, toss broccoli, cauliflower and garlic cloves with enough extra virgin olive oil to coat. Sprinkle generously with Kosher salt.
4. Spread veggies out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
5. Bake in the 425 oven for 25-30 minutes, tossing once halfway through if desired, until crisp and golden
1. The two most important things to remember when roasting vegetables: The more uniform the size of the cut-up veggies, the more evenly they will cook. And give them space on the baking sheet. Crowded veggies means they won't get the golden color or crunch. Use a second baking sheet if the veggies are starting to look like they're riding a crowded New York City subway.
2. If you want to save a bowl, feel free to go rogue and coat the veggies with oil right on the baking sheet. That's what I usually do. Just drizzle the oil right on top of the veggies and then use your hands to make sure each piece sports a sheen. I sprinkle with salt right on the baking sheet too.
3. Check the veggies after about 15-20 minutes. If they look like they need to be turned, go ahead. But you have permission to skip that step. Just know the veggies will be slightly darker and more caramelized on the bottom.