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Super-Simple Side: Roasted Broccoli with Lemon & Parmesan

roasted broccoli with lemon and parmesan

Five minutes of chopping and about 45 seconds of sprinkling: That’s all this recipe asks of you. Less, even, if you use pre-cut broccoli. But once the lemony, salty, soft-crunchy-tender roasted broccoli is on the plate—and in your mouth—you get the kind of powerful flavors and contrasting textures that usually require, y’know, effort.

I’ve been a fan of roasted cauliflower for years now, but I’m a relatively recent convert to roasting its green cruciferous cousin. Something about the way those frilly bits get all crispy put me off—I thought it would be like eating fried hair, if that’s not too weird. Well, once I got over my neuroses, I learned what so many of you probably know already: Roasted broccoli ROCKS. The crispy, frilly bits? Turns out, they’re the best part. Nothing hairlike about em. Scatter a little grated parm on top towards the end, and you get even more crunch. Drizzle lemon juice over all, and you’ve made a Wow side with hardly any additional work.

Got broccoli in the drawer? Give this a whirl alongside tonight’s chicken. You won’t be sorry, I promise.

So, what’s your most impressive no-effort side? I’m all ears. And mouth.

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon & Parmesan
Serves 4

1 large bunch broccoli, chopped, or one package pre-chopped fresh broccoli
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of 1/2 lemon (add a little zest if you’re really into lemon)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.

  1. Put the broccoli on the baking sheet and toss with the oil, plus salt & pepper to taste.
  2. Roast for 20 minutes, then take the pan out and give things a stir. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and return it to the oven without stirring again.
  3. Roast another 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and transfer the broccoli to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice, then scrape the crunchy bits of cheese from the pan and sprinkle them on top. Toss and serve.

MAKE BABY FOOD: For older babies who are used to finger food, yes. But the texture may be too challenging for younger infants.


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Amy Weiss

    Nice – this recipe looks really good! I love roasted cauliflower, but usually boil or steam broccoli.

    Other favorite sides: roasted brussel sprouts (halved) with thick chunks of onions, sprinkled with osher salt & pepper. Also, roasted sweet potatoes (slices or small chunks) with onions & rosemary. Like candy!

    1. Debbie Koenig

      Amy, I LOVE roasted brussels sprouts–I usually do them plain but next time I’ll try adding onions. Sounds great! And the sweet potatoes too. Basically, I’m game for any roasted veg, I guess. 😉

  2. Crunchy Con Mommy

    Yum! Sounds delicious! How much lemon juice do you think it’d take if I used a bottle of lemon juice instead of fresh? I had to juice lemons and limes at the ice cream shop I worked at in high school (we sold delicious raspberry limeades!) and I think I’m all burnt out on squeezing my own. Lol.

    1. Debbie Koenig

      It would be 1 1/2 tablespoons(ish). But I have to say, that bottled stuff doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing. Stick a fork in 1/2 a lemon and squeeze. It’s worth it!

  3. Tepary

    We’ve been on a roasted brassica kick for the past couple of weeks. Brussels with walnuts and feta sprinkled after, cauliflower with paprika and I recently tried broccoli. I’ll have to try it this way too. Also Kale Chips (Roasted Kale).

    1. Debbie Koenig

      Ooo, those are nice flavor combos, Tepary! Making me hungry…

  4. Sheila

    Debbie, I’ve noticed that lemon juice discolors green vegetables pretty quickly. Recently I discovered lemon-infused olive oil. You can drizzle a little on broccoli sauteed with garlic or roasted broccoli or string beans, and you transform the dish. The lemon’s citrus tang balances the broccoli’s bitter notes, and the dish doesn’t turn grey.

    1. Debbie Koenig

      Interesting, Sheila! I’ve never noticed my green vegs discoloring–but it’s probably because I gobble them down before they get the chance. 😉

  5. Kirsty @GoodTasteGuide

    This is so easy and sounds so delicious! I love broccoli but have never thought about giving it a sweet taste like cauliflower by roasting it. Fab.

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