I love to cook, but some nights I just don’t have the energy to pull off an elaborate meal. I am married, work a full-time job, practice yoga regularly, and have two dogs which I consider to be my kids. It can be hard to find the time and energy to go grocery shopping after work and then come home and cook a meal, or do dishes, laundry, hunt, walk dogs, etc. ( I literally don’t know how people who do have kids have time for anything!)
After long days like this I tend to do something incredibly simple but still satisfying – I roast a huge batch of vegetables! You know, the “I’m so lazy right now I’m just going to throw it in the oven” kind of food that somehow turns out fantastic. There is something to be said about roasted veggies. So simple, but when done right and with the right kind of seasoning, they can be so delicious. They are like comfort food to me! Or, maybe I just really love my greens. Last night was one of those nights. I had a bunch of random veggies in the fridge along with some broccolini that I decided to roast.
My Secret to Perfectly Roast Broccolini:
Start with a hot, 350 degree oven. Lay out a bundle of broccolini on a sheet pan and drizzle with oil, pepper, and in this case, Lemon Herb Salt. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes are also a nice touch. Add about 2 – 3 Tablespoons of stock (if you have it, if not water will do) to the bottom and tent the whole thing under foil. This lets it steam a bit and keeps it tender.
After 10 minutes or so, take the foil out and raise the temp. to 375 for the duration of the cook time (5 – 10 more minutes). It will begin to get that lovely crispy char on the outside. You know its cooked just right when the stalks are tender but still has a crisp snap to it. It’s the best way to eat broccolini (or anything cruciferous) in my opinion! None of that overcooked, mushy watery stuff that our parents tried to feed us years ago with cheese on top.
Roasted Broccolini is obviously perfect just as it is for a side dish to something like the Tuna Bowl with Salsa Verde, or with a bunch of other roasted veggies and some greens for a light vegetarian dinner.
Note: If you decide to use broccoli instead of broccolini, don’t chop off the stock! You can use a vegetable peeler to cut the woody outer layer off of the stock which will result in it being much more tender. After that I like to cut the broccoli into quarters lengthwise so that you aren’t left with one big fat piece and it will cook more evenly and faster.
DIY Lemon Herb Salt:
To jazz up my roasted broccolini, I decided to add some homemade lemon herb salt. I always try to keep interesting ingredients like that on hand, especially for nights like this. It can make something so simple turn into something so much more! It’s so easy and brings so much flavor to the table, you will be asking yourself why you haven’t made this before.
This particular batch is made with sea salt, lemon zest, fresh parsley, fresh thyme and garlic. The flavors are classic and will pair well with pretty much anything. It is the perfect mix to use if you want to dry brine a whole pheasant. I also use this to add to water when I cook grains (instead of buying those silly little rice boxes that I know are so tempting when you’re not in the mood to cook). It literally takes 5 minutes to chop and mix the ingredients, and after that the only thing you have to do is spread it across a cookie sheet or clean surface to air dry overnight. I promise, you will use salt mix on everything… your welcome.
- ½ C. Kosher Salt
- 2 T. Fresh Parsley
- 2 T. Fresh Thyme
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 lemon
- Rinse the herbs under water to clean and pat them as dry as you can with a paper towel. Finely chop the fresh parsley and thyme and mince the garlic cloves. Add the herbs and garlic to a bowl with kosher salt. With a microplane, zest an entire lemon over the mixture in the bowl, being careful not to get the bitter white skin. Stir the salt until everything is well mixed.
- Spread the salt out in a thin layer across a cookie sheet and let it dry overnight. Store in an airtight container.