Spicy Roasted garlic broccolini
Many ask me what it’s like living on an island, and if I like it. I always feel that I’m spoiled living on an island like Trinidad. I say that not just because of the beauty of the island and the diversity of it,but when it comes to modern conveniences and even imported goods,it’s considered the “New York City of the Caribbean”. If you look hard enough you really can get your hands on anything you want. You may have to wait but you will eventually get it.
I have a story that kind of explains what I mean by that. I work with an associate dentist apart from the dentist that owns the practice and he works the odd Saturday. So on those days I always like to bring something in as a bit of a treat, cause let’s face it no one wants to work on a Saturday. Well one day I wanted to bring croissants and Nutella. So I thought let me go to Pricemart which is like a Costco and get a large tray of croissants and two large containers of Nutella. Items that I always see at Pricemart just not that day. I got the croissants thinking no problem the grocery store always has some (will be double the price but that is OK — work Saturday’s don’t come along that often). Three grocery stores, two gourmet grocery stores, and two pharmacies later and no stupid Nutella. I had to get one of those imitation ones- not even the good ones but the chocolate spreads. Wasn’t awful and it all got eaten but when I needed the Nutella it was not anywhere to be found. We joked about the shipment container being held up at customs. But in reality that was probably the case. The next week I did some groceries and the shelves were restocked with the stuff.
Always the case! When you need it they are out of it. Well that happened only a few times until I got smart about it. Now I plan in advance a kind of flexible meal plan for the month emphasis on ‘flexible’, and buy things in advance while they are in stock. There are still the odd times where I would love to have some mint for example and for the life of me cannot find one place that carries mint. The very next day the shelves will be stocked with an abundance of mint and absolutely no parsley. I know what you’re all thinking: ‘grow your own darn mint’. I have tried and been unsuccessful but I’m not going to give up. I still need to get on that. It can be so tricky in this climate. Herbs I find can be finicky and very temperamental with this heat and being grown in a pot as opposed to a patch of land. Please give me any advice you may have!!
Those are the minor and trivial things about cooking here. I say minor and trivial because do I really need Nutella and mint when I can get papaya, avocado, sour sop, mangoes, and other fresh fruits and veggies in season? I really don’t and can live without but it’s pretty nice knowing that if I did want something like those items I can get them. Maybe just not when I want or need them!! Hahaha! I also have to be prepared to pay a high price for them. I remember seeing persimmon here obviously imported and almost choked when I saw the price of one. I soooo wanted to get on the persimmon Instagram pic band wagon but all my frugal mom’s good training did not go to waste on me. I just couldn’t do it!
Anyways enough about the island food fun adventures. What I do love about living on an island, this island in particular, is the climate, the sunsets, the proximity to the beach and our sister island Tobago. I love the food culture and diversity in it and the people themselves. The arts as I mentioned before, are greatly emphasized here, and it reflects a lot in the culture, which is something else I enjoy. So my simple answer to how I like living on an island is that I love it! Do I love it more than living back home in Canada? No of course not. Because everywhere you go will have its positives and negatives (and I have my family and dear friends there) This is where I am right now and I will take the bad with the good. I always TRY to be happy wherever I’m planted. Even though that may take time and some effort, that really is the only way to make a success of living away from home whether on an island or anywhere else.
Back to the food again. Broccolini is something that I do splurge on sometimes. Although I did get this bunch for a really good price so it wasn’t much of a splurge. I actually think it was cheaper than a head of broccoli so a total win and probably the reason I decided to buy them. I love broccolini made any way but this is a bomb way of making them with the perfect amount of heat, garlicy goodness and crunch cause you gotta have the crunch. Hope you enjoy the recipe and would love to hear how you like your broccolini!!
- 1 bunch of broccolini
- 1 tsp of chilli flakes
- 4 cloves garlic smashed or chopped in large chunks
- Salt and pepper to your liking
- 1/4 cup roasted almond slices
- 2-3 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
In a large bowl toss broccolini, oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and chili flakes well to coat
Place on baking sheet and roast until the florets start to brown at the edges
While the broccolini is roasting heat a small pan over medium heat and roast the almonds until slightly brown in colour and fragrant -should only take a few minutes. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn and toss once in a while so they brown evenly. Remove from heat when done and allow to cool.
Once the broccolini is done remove from oven, plate and toss with the almonds