Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Parmesan | Culinary Hill

This recipe for Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan and Lemon turns boring broccoli into something crispy and caramelized in 40 minutes or less. Delicious!

True confession: I actually grew up eating frozen broccoli with melted Velveeta cheese on top. That’s how my mom always made it, and I loved it. Cheese + broccoli= best friends forever.

Consider this recipe a slightly more sophisticated twist on the classic. Turn the oven up: The high heat from the oven is perfect for cooking broccoli. It caramelizes the natural sugars in everything, making cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli sweet, nutty, and downright edible. Devour-able, even.

Recipe ingredients:

Ingredient notes:

  • Broccoli: Trim off the dry woody part of the stem, but the rest is fair game. Cut the broccoli florets into pieces that are all about the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Lemon: The zest of one lemon (about 1 teaspoon) can be added with the lemon juice. Just zest the lemon before you cut it to squeeze it.
  • Parmesan cheese: Any hard, aged cheese will work well instead. Think Parmesan, grated Asiago, pecorino, or Romano cheese.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Before you start, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and move the baking rack to the center of the oven. Then line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Add the broccoli to a big bowl with the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice (and zest, if using) and some salt and pepper.
  2. Toss to combine, then arrange the broccoli evenly on the baking sheet without crowding it.
  3. Roast the broccoli for 35 to 40 minutes, until brown at the edges but tender in the middle. Flip halfway through cooking for even browning. Take the tray out of the oven and sprinkle the broccoli with Parmesan cheese. Then return the tray to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, another 1 to 2 minutes.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • High temperature formula: I like to roast every vegetable at 400 degrees and just adjust the baking time, keeping an eye out for signs of doneness. But remember the Farenheit 451 rule: Books burn at 451 degrees, and so does parchment paper. That’s why I chose 400 degrees as my baseline, even though some vegetables could be done quicker at a higher temp.
  • Keep things dry: After you rinse your vegetables, pat them dry or allow them to air dry before they go into the oven. More moisture= more steam= less toasty crisp bits.
  • Crowd control: Crowded vegetables create steam which prevents them from getting toasty. The baking sheet surface in contact with the broccoli is what gives your roasted vegetables those brown, crunchy bits. Also, flip your veggies halfway through cooking so the other side has a chance to get just as delicious.
  • Roasting frozen broccoli: Roast frozen broccoli right out of the bag, but raise the oven temp to 450. Don’t let the broccoli thaw out first, otherwise it’ll turn soft and won’t ever get crispy.

More delicious vegetable recipes:

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Parmesan

This recipe for Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan and Lemon turns boring broccoli into something crispy and caramelized in 40 minutes or less. Delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 115kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds broccoli florets from 3 stalks broccoli (see note 1)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (see note 2)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (1 ounce, see note 3)

Instructions

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
  • In a large bowl, add broccoli, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt to taste and pepper (I like at least 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sometimes I do a little more).
  • Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Roast until florets are tender-crisp and browning around the edges, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 1 to 2 minutes longer. 

Notes

  1. Broccoli: Trim off the dry woody part of the stem, but the rest is fair game. Cut the broccoli florets into pieces that are all about the same size so they cook evenly. 
  2. Lemon: The zest of one lemon (about 1 teaspoon) can be added with the lemon juice. Just zest the lemon before you cut it to squeeze it.
  3. Parmesan cheese: Any hard, aged cheese will work well instead. Think Parmesan, grated Asiago, pecorino, or Romano cheese.
  4. High temperature formula: I like to roast every vegetable at 400 degrees and just adjust the baking time, keeping an eye out for signs of doneness. But remember the Farenheit 451 rule: Books burn at 451 degrees, and so does parchment paper. That's why I chose 400 degrees as my baseline, even though some vegetables could be done quicker at a higher temp. 
  5. Keep things dry: After you rinse your vegetables, pat them dry or allow them to air dry before they go into the oven. More moisture= more steam= less toasty crisp bits.
  6. Crowd control: Crowded vegetables create steam which prevents them from getting toasty. The baking sheet surface in contact with the broccoli is what gives your roasted vegetables those brown, crunchy bits. Also, flip your veggies halfway through cooking so the other side has a chance to get just as delicious.
  7. Roasting frozen broccoli: Roast frozen broccoli right out of the bag, but raise the oven temp to 450. Don’t let the broccoli thaw out first, otherwise it’ll turn soft and won’t ever get crispy.

Nutrition

Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 103mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg
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Publisher: Culinary Hill