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Crispy Smashed Broccoli Recipe

dipping a broccoli piece
dipping a broccoli piece - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Smashed food is trending, and you can't miss it if your social media feed is full of tempting recipes. It all began with smashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts, then expanded to the smashed cucumber salad, and now all vegetables are fair game. Something delicious happens when you use this technique — you create a crispy exterior and a tender interior for a bite-sized nugget that is begging to be dipped into a scrumptious sauce. In this crispy smashed broccoli recipe, we've used garlic-infused olive oil with a smoky hint to coat the tender broccoli. The seasoned broccoli and salty and savory Parmesan topper both crisp up in the oven to deliver a delicious bite.

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe and says, "I make vegetables every day, and I make them in all different ways. The smashed technique is a great way to win over non-veggie lovers, so I think it's perfect for picky kids who resist eating vegetables. They also make a great appetizer or side dish to accompany just about any meal." Read on to learn how to make this delicious smashed broccoli.

Read more: The 20 Best Olive Oils For Cooking

Gather The Ingredients To Make Crispy Smashed Broccoli

recipe ingredients
recipe ingredients - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

To make this recipe you'll of course need some broccoli. "You can buy a whole head of broccoli and chop it up, or make it easy on yourself and buy the pre-cut bagged broccoli," Hahn shares. While you're in the produce aisle, pick up some fresh garlic.

Head to the dairy aisle and grab some shredded Parmesan (or better yet a Parmesan wedge to freshly grate) and then check your condiment and spice cabinet for olive oil, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

Step 1: Preheat The Oven

preheating oven
preheating oven - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Step 2: Put The Brocolli Into A Steamer Basket

broccoli in steamer basket
broccoli in steamer basket - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Fill a pot or pan with about 2-inches of water and bring it to a low boil. Then fit a steamer basket with the broccoli florets over the bottom pot and reduce the heat to medium.

Step 3: Steam The Broccoli

removing lid from pan
removing lid from pan - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Cover and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green and tender.

Step 4: Make The Olive Oil Mixture

whisk in glass bowl
whisk in glass bowl - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

While the broccoli is cooking, in a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

Step 5: Lay The Broccoli On A Sheet Pan

drying broccoli with paper towel
drying broccoli with paper towel - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Dry each broccoli floret with a clean dish towel or paper towel and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Step 6: Smash The Broccoli Florets

smashing the broccoli
smashing the broccoli - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Using the bottom of a cup or mason jar, press hard on each floret to smash it.

Step 7: Brush On The Seasoned Oil

brushing on the oil
brushing on the oil - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Brush each floret with the seasoned oil.

Step 8: Add The Parmesan Cheese

adding Parmesan
adding Parmesan - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Top each floret with Parmesan cheese.

Step 9: Put In The Oven And Bake

broccoli on sheet pan
broccoli on sheet pan - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy.

Step 10: Serve The Smashed Broccoli

smashed broccoli on tray
smashed broccoli on tray - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

The crispy smashed broccoli is ready to serve.

How Can I Customize The Crispy Smashed Broccoli?

small plate with broccoli
small plate with broccoli - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

You can experiment with various herbs and spices to add depth of flavor to the smashed broccoli. Consider options like garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, or Italian seasoning, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a subtle kick. You can use any of your favorite spices to season the olive oil before you brush it onto the smashed broccoli.

If you want a sweeter flavor you can drizzle a honey-balsamic glaze over the smashed broccoli before roasting. The sweet and tangy sauce adds a rich and flavorful touch. For a buttery flavor, make lemon-herb butter by mixing melted butter with a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or dill. Brush the mixture over the broccoli before roasting.

You can use shredded or grated parmesan, or mix it up and go for Romano or goat cheese. You can easily make the smashed broccoli dairy-free and vegan by swapping out the Parmesan for a dairy-free version.

What Can I Pair With The Crispy Smashed Broccoli?

adding dip to broccoli
adding dip to broccoli - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

The smashed broccoli is very versatile and can be served with a variety of different sauces. Make a tangy aioli by mixing mayonnaise with minced garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt, and use it as a drizzle or a dip. Whisk together soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, and a touch of honey to make an easy soy-ginger glaze you can use as a dipping sauce as well. Or make a simple tahini dressing by combining tahini with lemon juice, garlic, and a bit of water to create a smooth and tasty vegan dip. To add a bold kick to the smashed broccoli, make a creamy-spicy dip by mixing mayonnaise with Sriracha sauce and a squeeze of lime juice.

If you are serving the smashed broccoli as an appetizer or side dish it will complement a variety of entrees. A classic choice such as roasted chicken works wonderfully with smashed broccoli. Whether the chicken is seasoned with herbs, lemon, or spices, the smashed broccoli will make an unusual and welcome side dish. The crispy texture of smashed broccoli also contrasts nicely with a flaky and moist baked salmon. For a vegetarian or vegan option, serve it with seared tofu in an Asian-inspired sauce over rice.

Crispy Smashed Broccoli Recipe

dipping broccoli in ranch
dipping broccoli in ranch - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 30mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients

  • 4 cups broccoli florets

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  2. Fill a pot or pan with about 2-inches of water and bring it to a low boil. Then fit a steamer basket with the broccoli florets over the bottom pot and reduce the heat to medium.

  3. Cover and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green and tender.

  4. While the broccoli is cooking, in a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

  5. Dry each broccoli floret with a clean dish towel or paper towel and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

  6. Using the bottom of a cup or mason jar, press hard on each floret to smash it.

  7. Brush each floret with the seasoned oil.

  8. Top each floret with Parmesan cheese.

  9. Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy.

  10. The crispy smashed broccoli is ready to serve.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.