Roasted Lemony Parmesan Broccoli

Sometimes people are surprised to know how much I use store bought frozen fruits and veggies. I love fresh don’t get me wrong but I love fresh from the market and many times I will freeze my market finds to maintain their freshness. I usually freeze bhaji/spinach, mangos, pimento peppers, bananas, passion fruit pulp, pineapple, and even water melon. You name it if I bought it fresh or if I picked it myself I will freeze it if I don’t use it all up and if I know I could use it later in foods and smoothies. I always have frozen fruit and frozen spinach and broccoli in the freezer at any given time. They are staple freezer items I have and use. I also have peas and corn in there too. And I will choose frozen over canned anytime for taste alone but also for the additives which come along with many canned goods. The only canned veggie I have in my cupboards is tomatoes and I choose the ones with no salt and as few or no preservatives in them.

Roasted broccoli


Back to the whole store bought frozen veggies though. There are a few reasons why they are staple items in my freezer. For one they are very cost effective especially in countries like the one I live in where produce like broccoli, broccolini, broccoli rabe, zucchini, cauliflower and some other varieties are not readily grown locally. Buying these imported can be very expensive. This goes for berries and other fruits that are not grown locally.

Another reason is that you really don’t know how far imported produce has travelled and how long it has travelled plus it can lose up to half its nutrients by the time it reaches the grocery store. Not only that, many times produce for export is picked unripe and allowed to ripen en route. Nothing is technically wrong with that (other than loss of nutrients) but we can all agree that veggies and fruit picked when ripened always taste so much better. Also frozen fruits and veggies are usually picked and flash frozen at there peak ripeness and most nutrient packed state. That’s a plus! So although fresh, in season, local produce is always my first choice, the next best thing in my opinion is frozen.

we can all agree that veggies and fruit picked when ripened always taste so much better

When choosing frozen fruit, always check the back of packaging to check for any added salt or sugar. Not many do add it but it’s good to check just in case. Check the dates also because just like you wouldn’t chose fresh fruits or veggies that look like they have been sitting a long time on the the grocery store shelf you wouldn’t want to choose frozen ones that have been sitting in the freezer a long time either. Also eat it all up sooner than later especially if you have opened the package. Make sure you put opened frozen veggies in a sealed bag to maintain freshness if they don’t come in one.


Roasted broccoli


This is one way I like to eat my frozen or fresh broccoli. Even when roasted this way frozen, the end result is crispy edged delicious broccoli. Much different than the usual frozen steamed broccoli. Nothing against that at all because I love my broccoli steamed and with lots of lemon juice and olive oil but this is just another great way to eat broccoli even from frozen. I will be 100 percent honest with you though, you are not going to get the exact texture of fresh roasted broccoli but it’s still an excellent alternative to steaming. The high roasting temperature helps evaporate the moisture allowing it to roast instead of steam. I think the flavours are awesome and it’s worth a try whether frozen or fresh!

Roasted broccoli


Roasted lemony Parmesan broccoli

Ingredients

  • 450-500 grams of frozen broccoli or 2 large heads of fresh broccoli washed and trimmed

  • Juice of 12 - 1 lemon

  • 14 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

  • 14 cup olive oil or coconut oil if concerned about high roasting temperatures

  • Salt and pepper to your liking

Directions for frozen

  1. Grease a baking pan with 1-2 tbsp of oil and place into a cold oven. Preheat oven to 450-475 degrees

  2. Once the beeper goes off on the oven telling you its preheated, in a large bowl toss the frozen florets of broccoli in remaining oil, remove hot tray from oven and place all the broccoli on it. Avoid crowding pan. Place back in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes or until water has evaporated and the florets have started to brown at the edges

  3. Remove from oven, generously season with salt and pepper and toss on pan and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place back in the oven and broil for just a couple minutes watching them carefully until cheese is melted and golden

  4. Remove from oven and generously drizzle with lemon juice


Directions for fresh

  1. Preheat oven to 425

  2. Toss broccoli with oil and place on baking sheet and roast for 15- 20 minutes or until florets start to brown at the edges.

  3. Remove from oven, generously season with salt and pepper and toss on pan and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place back in the oven and broil for just a couple minutes watching them carefully until cheese is melted and golden

  4. Remove from oven and generously drizzle with lemon juice



Roasted broccoli