This Christmas season I complained to Rich about his gluten free diet; in most ways its no big deal, but there are little ways it has shaped and will shape our family’s “food traditions”. Specifically I lamented the tins of biscotti and pizzelles that were always in the kitchen of my childhood home. This won’t be the case for my kids. They’ll eat them of course, but they won’t be staples. Why? I don’t necessarily want to be eating them all the time and two small kids can only eat so much; without the hungry man on board the treats tend to dwindle. This could change in the future as the kids’ appetites get bigger, but until then we will be making some new traditions.
I don’t make a lot of meatballs and pasta (another staple in my home growing up) but that doesn’t mean I don’t cook like the Italian I am. I like Giada type Italian – healthy and fresh. This dish is decidedly Mediterranean with the anchovies, lemon, garlic and parmesan cheese. It’s not exactly “light”, with the heavy handed pours of olive oil, but it’s beautifully healthy. With leftover soup planned for dinner, I made this mid-afternoon just because the broccoli needed cooking. I sat on the floor of the kitchen and ate away, covering it with crushed red pepper while knowing with each shake of the flakes that I wasn’t going to be feeding this to my kids. And maybe not my husband either. SO good. Fast enough to make on a weeknight and serve with any type of meat or fish. With both broccoli and beans it’s like two side dishes in one.
Roasted Broccoli and White Beans with Parmesan
1 large head broccoli, florets and stems cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can cannelini/great northern beans, drained and rinsed
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
3 oz. parmesan cheese, shaved
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. On a large baking sheet, toss broccoli with 1/4 c. of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until starting to blacken on the edges.
2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium low heat. Add garlic and anchovies and mash with the tip of a wooden spoon to dissolve anchovies. Let cook until garlic begins to turn golden and add beans.
3. Stir beans with garlic mixture until well coated. Remove from heat.
4. Add zest and juice of lemon and stir to combine.
5. When broccoli is finished cooking, pour bean mixture over the top. Shave parmesan over broccoli and serve, with pepper flakes as desired.