Obsess! I love it!
RCR came over a month or so back with a giant head of broccoli and suggested I roast it. I thought, yeah, sure, whatever. I’m pretty into getting healthy, but broccoli is just always a bore. NOT SO!
I’ve become COMPLETELY obsessed with roasted broccoli over the last month and even sold my family on it while in soothing Nevada City! Amazing.
Preheat oven to 400. Place broccoli florets in a deep baking dish, drizzle with your favorite olive oil (or not), salt and pepper (Maldon is of course recommended), and bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on what type of pan you use and how much broccoli you are roasting). Serve hot.
Amazing because you can simultaneously get the softness of a boil with the crunch of a roast. I just love it when the broccoli gets that bright chartreuse color in the stem and dark, almost brownish affect in the tips of the florets.
I’ve been so all-over the roasting of florets that I’ve moved onto Trader Joe’s Broccoflower, just for variety, but discovered that the texture is not optimal, and on the dry side compared with broccoli (I would argue similarly about cauliflower, specifically w/r/t this preparation, though it is fabulous in many other ways).
I’m still experimenting with how to incorporate cheese into this fantastic snack/side dish.
In the mean time, every time I serve broccoli I. tells the story of Albert Broccoli, the original director of the James Bond films. (FYI I. pronounces the name Broccoli with a long o on the second syllable). “Hmmm,” he says to his avid listeners, “sounds a lot like the vegetable don’t it?” And they all agree, because no one would ever disagree with I. “So you think he might be named after the vegetable right?” [Muttering agreement] “Welllllll, it was actually Albert Broccoli’s grandfather who bred cabbage with broccoli rabe, thus creating what we commonly know and refer to as broccoli.” I.’s audience ooh’s and ahh’s in wonder of his vast and specific knowledge, with which he pays equal attention to vintage football stats, and, apparently, horticulture and the etymology of plant names. I have had to listen to the story upwards of twenty times over the past several years.
I’ve had to listen to the story even more times since my recent obsession with roasted broccoli arose. I’ll admit I complained vociferously.
But I thought to myself, “Self, you should give I. a little credit when you blahghe about your current obsession with broccoli.”
Armed only with my fingertips and the fascist state that is Google, I began researching Albert Broccoli (with whom I had no previous fascination nor any with Bond in general) and the plant commonly known in the U.S. as “broccoli” in hopes that I could share the most accurate and well-researched knowledge with you, my beloved readership.
What I found might surprise I. and his disciples.
The origins of the name for the plant commonly known as broccoli is not, has not, and will never be attributed film director Albert Broccoli’s grandfather nor any of his ancestors.
For all of our edification, the name broccoli, for the plant that is in the same “cultivar group” as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts, comes from the Latin bracchium, meaning strong arm or branch. The plant was named as such for its many strong branches that grow from one main stem. If anyone would like to challenge me, please see this Google search with references.
Oh, and if you are interested in the pronunciation of Albert Broccoli’s name, please see this link. It is pronounced the same as the vegetable, no long o. Also from an obit:
In the late 1950’s, Mr. Broccoli (pronounced like the vegetable) and his partner, Harry Saltzman, bought the screen rights to the novels of Ian Fleming, and proceeded to make Mr. Fleming’s character, James Bond Agent 007, a household name. The 17 Bond films Mr. Broccoli was associated with were reported to have earned $1 billion world wide.
Anyone have any conflicting reports on the pronunciation of Albert’s surname?
I also discovered a fun site called “Clement’s Mind Your English” with a pronunciation guide that includes broccoli the plant, and of course Merriam-Webster’s definition of broccoli the plant with a free wav file to guide your pronunciation.
We might have to go all the way to the OED on this one.
Over and out,