23 October 2011

Roasted broccoli

I was going to put together something totally different today, but while we were at church this morning, something happened that got me thinking ... and it still has me thinking now. An elderly lady collapsed in the middle of Mass, and regardless of how discreet people try to be while at church, that sort of thing inevitably gets a bit of show-stopping attention ... especially when the priest walks over to the pew and paramedics roll a stretcher down the center aisle. She seemed alright when they took her out - weak, but alright - with the pipe organ playing sort-of-quietly in the background and an entire congregation's prayers accompanying her. 

Years of Sundays, and this was the first time I ever saw something like that happen. It got me thinking about the obvious (life and mortality) and recalling the personal (my son saw 911 paramedics taking my dad to the hospital twice, a couple of summers ago). And I guess the following is on a bit of a tangent, but you know, people gawk all the time, at lots of things. We gawk at accidents that we drive by, at the news, at someone making a scene, at turtles crossing the road ... at practically anything. But it's kind of hard to gawk in a place of worship, and so this morning I think a lot of us present found that the most appropriate thing to do was pray.

After the excitement was over, I wondered: what if we pondered more and gawked less? We'd probably be a lot more effective. Every day we find something to be curious about: some things worthwhile, but most things not at all. On an every day level - because let's face it, we can't all be Socrates - a bit less nosiness (on the street, in Facebook, or anywhere else) allows us more time for what really matters: a prayer for someone who needs it, attention to something that needs to be done, time for the people we encounter, a quiet moment for ourselves to regroup. I'm not the first person to come up with that idea, but wouldn't that be nice?


Roasted Broccoli
Adaped from Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

If you don't like broccoli, roasting it will change your mind. I thought I hated broccoli until I tried this. Three of us can put away close to 2 pounds of broccoli in one sitting, when it's roasted. Leftovers are easy to deal with: toss with some chicken or sausage in pasta, or use in almost any recipe that calls for cooked broccoli (just add it close to the very end).

The original recipe serves 6. I've halved the recipe below.

Preheat the oven to 425ยบF.

Place in a sheet pan large enough to hold the broccoli in a single layer:
  about 2 lbs/1 kg broccoli

Scatter over the broccoli:
  2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced (you can skip this if you don't like garlic)

Drizzle with:
  extra virgin olive oli
  3/4 tsp kosher salt
  1/4 tsp pepper

Roast for 20-25 minutes, until crisp-tender and some tips are browned.

more broccoli

Sometimes we stop at this point - the broccoli is already delicious like this. But you can also combine:
  1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1 tsp lemon zest
  1 1/2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1 Tbsp julienned basil leaves
  3/4 Tbsp olive oil

Toss the broccoli with the dressing above. Serve hot.


  1. Lovely. I hope the lady is doing okay - made me say a prayer for her too!

  2. I can't believe this lovely post has only gotten one comment! Aside from the delicious recipe idea your lovely intro got me thinking! Thanks for sharing a piece of your life with all of us.
    p.s. I can't wait to try roasting broccoli!

  3. Your pictures are beautiful! I LOVE roasted broccoli - we love to add paprika too!

  4. Rosy, comments like yours make blogging worthwhile :o) Thank you for stopping by!

    Snixykitchen, thank you! I've never tried paprika on roasted broccoli ... I'll have to remember that for next time!