Fall is in the air here in the Midwest. Colors are beginning to flutter in the trees, Honeycrisp apples are filling the markets, and each morning I’m awaking with a craving for hot tea that I haven’t had since March.
As temperatures dip lower in the evenings and nippy winds blow in the new season, my taste for fresh salads and slaws has diminished significantly. And while I’ll never entirely lose my taste for fresh greens and raw vegetables, something warm and comforting does my body good this time of year.
Earlier this week I opened my crisper to find a few heads of broccoli tucked in the back, crowded out by the Honeycrisps, sweet potatoes, and celery root that have held my affections of late. Instead of a side salad to go with dinner, I decided to give roasted broccoli a whirl. (Pathetic, I know. In all my years of roasting vegetables, I’d never made roasted broccoli. Such a shame!)
After tossing the spears of broccoli with a bit of olive oil, some salt and cumin, and sliced garlic cloves, I popped the pan in a hot oven expecting the veggies to roast a good 30 or 40 minutes until tender. To my surprise, they were perfectly browned and soft to bite within just 15 minutes! Needless to say, I’ve found my new favorite weeknight vegetable side dish for the fall and winter months.
When a light mixed greens salad won’t do on chilly days, this roasted broccoli is a sure winner. Do you have any quick weeknight side dish suggestions that I should try?
Cumin-Roasted Broccoli Spears – serves 4
2-3 small heads of broccoli, stalks trimmed to about 3 inches below florets
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp. ground cumin
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the broccoli into spears, keeping some of the stalk in tact with the florets of each slice. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss broccoli spears with garlic cloves, cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Roast in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until broccoli is tender and browning in spots.