So if there is one thing you should know about August it is that it is going to bankrupt me. Two weekends away on the trot, a big old payment on the old credit card bill, and things like driving lessons and trips to Venice in the autumn all make my purse want to squinch up tight and refuse to let go of any cash unless it absolutely has to. Months like this happen, when everything (and every bill) seems to come all at once. It’s month like this that I thank god I’m a vegan (admittedly not always a very good one) with incredibly simple tastes. Sure you can get all fancy with your health food shops and every pulse under the sun, but like I’ve said many times before, the best way to keep on track and to keep your bank balance happy, is to eat simply. And what can be more simple than Broccoli?
I must admit, in the past I’ve over looked broccoli as an over cooked thing. Is there anything worse than soggy greens? But since going vegan, I’ve started to see that basically all veg has infinite amount of potential (except sprouts). So here’s the story, the other night I came home to look in my fridge and see food in there, but not necessarily food that came together to make a meal. Broccoli, spring onions, sweetcorn, a chilli, potato, hummus, garlic. Sure these things all have their part to play, but where’s the leading role, the one with that extra something special? This is when not so skint me would normally head to the shop, to find something that acted as the main star of the event to compliment the small parts. But not so skint me said ‘there’s no such thing as a small part, just a veg that needs seasoning’ or something like that. ANYWAY the point is, I decided to take shy old broccoli out of the wings, and put it centre stage and this is what happened…
1 medium broccoli
2 spring onions
1 mild chilli
1 large clove of garlic
The zest of a quarter of a lemon
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
Salt & pepper to season
The production process…
1. Dice the spring onion and the chilli up and throw into a mixing bowl with the minced garlic clove and lemon zest.
2. Add your teaspoon of soy sauce, and cover the ingredients in olive oil.
3. Cut off the florets of the broccoli (you can use the stem too, but this does take longer to roast so just be aware of that when cooking) and throw into the bowl.
4. Make sure all the broccoli is rubbed into the olive oil, chillies, lemon and onion, you can add a little more olive oil if you need to.
5. If you have time, stick the bowl in the fridge to marinate for half an hour (or longer if you’re preparing in advance. I didn’t bother with marinating because I was hungry and it was still delicious, but marinating literally makes everything even better.
6. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and pop your florets on to it in a single layer. If there are still chillies, garlic and onion at the bottom of the bowl make sure you get this onto the tray too, but try not to have any excess oil slithering around, as this leads to soggy broccoli and I’ve already made my feelings on that perfectly clear.
7. Pop into a preheated oven for about 15 minutes and voila, Broccoli’s Hollywood makeover is complete.
I ate my broccoli with a baked sweet potato, a corn on the cob and some hummus, and while it might not sound like much, it was SO satisfying, in fact I’m thinking of printing out the above picture and sticking it on my fridge to remind me just how much I enjoy eating food without any fuss, or drama queen antics!
This was also delicious,cold the day after for lunch, and I’m also thinking that for a picnic, it would be perfect served up with some new potatoes also roasted the same way. Maybe some sour dough bread. Ooo and pearl cous cous.
Now I’m hungry, and I also completely lost track of my stage conceit, but you can’t say I’m not at least trying to bring my two loves of theatre and food together!
Let me know if you try this, or roasting any other veg in the same way. I’m thinking maybe some cauliflower would compliment it perfectly?
Live life & never underestimate the humble broccoli x