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.
Roasted Broccoli and Blistered Grape Tomatoes Recipe:
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!
6 thoughts on “Roasted Broccoli with Blistered Grape Tomatoes”
My daughter is 11 years old and we constantly shake our heads at each other over mealtimes. I did everything right – introduced her to fruits, veggies, textures, temperatures, everything, and she LOVED food as a toddler. My biggest mistake? Allowing my mother to give in to the whine for macaroni and cheese, plain rice, or pb&j sandwiches when she watched her at home for me when I worked. My advice, to prevent late-in-childhood pickiness: always forge ahead with new foods and try not to make a habit out of the same ones.
Oh, man! All that effort, for naught. Well, I’ll definitely take note of that experience. The dialogue is open between my husband and I on ways we can nurture a healthy relationship with food for Margot. For now we’re lucky; a breast milk only diet. Ha!
The foodie pics are beautiful….look like a magazine, Loved the “movie” of Margot
laughing…..her grandma can hardly wait ! Wish I was coming too……
Oh yes, I’m sure you saw the Vine video of Margot toppling over, too! She’s such a silly baby. Can’t wait for you all to meet, it will probably be next March when Anna gets married. What an exciting time for everyone!
Sounds like what happened at my house … I finally quit arguing about food with my son because it became stressful for us both. I am an adult and can’t imagine anyone telling me that I had to eat something I absolutely don’t like (peas, creamed corn to name just two) so I tried very hard to be empathetic.
What I did do was to get him very involved in the buying & cooking! He was way more open to eating something he had written down the ingredients for and put into the grocery cart and then helped me cook (yes, it was trying on my patience at times … but I just focused on the goal of getting him to eat!). If he expressed an interest we gave it a try.
The next thing I did was set a “junk food” budget, he had X amount of $ to spend on junk (ice cream, soda, chips, pop tarts … etc) once it was gone, it was gone. Such an eye opener for him! Eventually he learned to only spend half of what I gave him and saved the other half to buy whatever he thought necessary at the time (video games, new snowboard, accessories for his BMX, etc.)
The third thing was to have food ready and available for him to easily eat or graze on – so we spent time chopping vegetables, making dips for the veggies, slicing cheese, making chili or soup, dicing fruit, making burritos or whatever to freeze – so that if ever he really, really didn’t like what was being made for dinner or him and his friends were STARVING there was always something “acceptable” to eat.
It worked. He’s all grown up now and has turned into a very adventurous eater and has impressed many with his skills in the kitchen. What started out as a point of contention between us turned out to be a wonderful way to spend productive time together; we were making great memories in that kitchen too, we didn’t even realize it until later.
Great insight, Nichole! I’ll definitely have to take a page from your book and include my Margot (and her future siblings) with the meal planning, shopping and cooking. It’s always rewarding to see something through from start to finish, it’s no different with new recipes!