Broccoli. I have so many regrets about not trying it until I was an adult. Growing up, my single-dad didn’t really have the culinary skills necessary to promote healthy eating in a picky eater like myself. It’s okay though, because I fixed it and he’s making up for it by doing generous things like buying my husband a grill for father’s day! He is one proud grand-dad.
So, broccoli: it’s my go-to vegetable for a healthy side, snack, or entree.
My hopes are that Margot won’t be a picky eater like I was. As soon as she’s able to eat solids, I’ll be making her baby food myself. Over time, I plan on introducing her to a wide variety of foods, and re-introducing them to her until she’s acquired a taste for them. That’s pretty much how I learned.
My favorite side (and occasional lunch) is this roasted broccoli with blistered grape tomatoes dish. It’s great on its own, dipped in marinara, or tossed into pasta.
3-4 cups broccoli
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grated parmesan — more or less to taste
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Slice broccoli into florets, then in half so they lay flat. In a large mixing bowl, toss broccoli and grape tomatoes in olive oil. Season with dried oregano, and salt & pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy clean up) and spread the veggies evenly over the pan. Lay the broccoli on their flat sides, and bake for 20-25 minutes until the broccoli is browned and the tomatoes are blistered. Check in on your creation about 18 minutes in to make sure the tomatoes don’t shrivel up into oblivion.
Use tongs to serve (be gentle!), and dust generously with grated parmesan.
I used freshly dehydrated oregano in this dish because I happened to have it on hand, courtesy of a local Olympia farm. If you have some like this, rub it between your hands to break it down and release its oils as you sprinkle it over the dish. This is the easiest way to maximize the flavor.
Try tossing these veggies into a bowl of hot bow tie pasta that has been mixed with goat cheese. It’s becomes a decadent, healthy macaroni and cheese.
The blistered tomatoes should be cooked until they wrinkle out of shape, if they’re still firm when you pull them out of the oven, be careful. They’ll squirt when you puncture them!
And if any of you moms out there have tips on homemade baby food, or preventing your child from becoming a picky eater, do tell!