Confession: when I was a child, I hated broccoli.
Shocking, right?! All children love vegetables! I kid…
I was brought up mostly with the French Canadian way of cooking vegetables, which means steaming the absolute life out of them until they are a sad faded color and limp. Didn’t matter if it was cauliflower, green beans, or anything else. My father’s mentality was “steam it and forget it.” And forget it, he surely did. I think the mentality was, “better to be overcooked than undercooked.” Most of the vegetables I ate, though enjoy them I certainly did not.
Except broccoli. That is where I drew the line. Didn’t matter if someone told me they were little trees or would make me big and strong; I refused. We’ve all had overcooked broccoli at some point, so I think everyone can relate to how deterring floppy, swamp green and foot-smelling broccoli is. I am not joking when I say my father would make me sit at the table for HOURS until I finished my broccoli. That’s how much I hated it.
Until I got older, probably 16 or so, and finally had some broccoli that was not overcooked. It was like my mind had been opened to a whole new world of vegetables (insert the song from Aladdin here).
So if you or someone you know is seriously struggling with broccoli, try this recipe. I’ve found that there is something about green vegetables with a slight char that just makes them so much tastier, even the dreaded brussels sprouts.
1 to 1½ lbs fresh broccoli
4 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ cup olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 lemon, zested
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
HSN Air Fryer (item #635-607)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
1. Cut the broccoli into florets that are all similar in size.
2. Spread the broccoli and sliced garlic into the pan of the air fryer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
3. Set the air fryer for HIGH and the timer for 17 minutes.
4. Close the lid and let cook until the timer goes off. The broccoli florets should be starting to brown.
5. When done, open the lid and top the broccoli with lemon zest and parmesan cheese; use rubber-tipped tongs to gently toss the broccoli and coat it.
6. Serve immediately.
Recipe inspiration from Fox and Briar