Perfect oven roasted broccoli and potatoes

I love broccoli in all its forms!  Well, as long as it’s cooked well, of course.  Give me broccoli and cheddar soup, steamed (not limp) broccoli with some good olive oil and sea salt, even raw broccoli with ranch dip, and I will be a happy camper any day.  I never understood why so many people don’t like broccoli, but I think it’s probably because they never had it cooked properly.  This recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook is sure to make a convert out of many a broccoli hater though!  Since I needed a starch to serve with dinner, I added potatoes to the recipe.  This was a treat, will definitely make this again soon.

Oven roasted potatoes and broccoli, adapted from the Ina Garten’s recipe (serves 2, or 1 hungry person)

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced (I like the cloves chunky)
  • A few healthy swirls of olive oil (probably 3 to 4 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice

The original recipe also calls for pine nuts and parmesan, but I wanted to keep the focus on vegetables so I omitted them.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.  Dice the potatoes into chunks (I made them slightly smaller than 1 inch) and cut the broccoli florets from their stalks.  Since potatoes take longer to cook, drizzle the potatoes and garlic with good olive oil, salt and pepper and stick them in the oven for 20 minutes.  Then, add the broccoli florets and add a little more olive oil, salt and pepper and toss them around with the potato mixture.

Bake everything at 425 degrees for another 25 minutes until crisp tender and browned.  Remove from the oven and drizzle with around 3 more tablespoons of olive oil, more salt and freshly ground pepper, a little lemon zest, and a few squeezes of lemon.  Serve piping hot!

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Quick, basic potato gratin

To go with the brisket I made, my husband requested potato gratin.  And since I aim to please, that’s what we had for dinner tonight.  🙂

This is adapted loosely from a recipe in one of my go-to cookbooks, The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.

First, I sliced and parboiled 4 medium sized potatoes to make sure they cook through in the oven.  Then I layered them in a baking dish with a lot of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and some ricotta cheese from Malagos farms.  Repeat until you almost hit the top of your dish.  When I reached the top layer (make sure to leave some space so the milk doesn’t run over the sides of your dish and make a mess in your oven) I dotted the top layer with a few cubes of butter.  Then I poured in some low-fat milk (cream is better but…a moment on the lips forever on the hips!) until it reached the bottom of the top layer of potatoes and topped it off with more pepper.

I baked this at 350 degrees for 45 minutes along with the brisket…and dinner was ready in around an hour.

If you want the sauce to be thicker, you can add some cornstarch to the milk.  Or thrown caution into the winds and use cream!  Really easy and yummy and it makes a fantastic side dish or a main course along with a leafy salad.  🙂