Confession: I made this sheet tray of baked broccoli the other week, and I ate the whole thing straight off the pan while standing at the kitchen counter. It all began innocently enough — I had just slathered this sweet and spicy drizzle over hot and crispy broccoli spears, so I did a quick taste test. After all, the number one rule in cooking is to taste as you go, right?
So I picked up another piece and ate it. Then I picked up another piece. And another. Before I knew it, I had eaten the whole tray. The rice I had cooked to eat with it remained bare. Then I decided to make the broccoli again the next night because I couldn’t stop thinking about how good it was. After making it a third night in a row, I typed into Google, ‘is it possible to eat too much broccoli‘? All of this to say, this broccoli is good. It’s so delicious but also incredibly easy to make. Y’all know I love a good no-recipe recipe, and this one might be my new favorite. Chances are, it’ll be yours, too.
Prepare the Broccoli, Stem and All!
When you just have one ingredient that’s the star, it’s important to take care while prepping it to really highlight how good it can be. In this recipe, the broccoli is the main character. Here are a few things to keep in mind when prepping it.
First, don’t you dare chop off and throw away the stems. I used to do this because I thought the stems were too fibrous and added nothing to my plate. Now that I know how to prep it, I’m taking it upon myself to make sure you don’t waste broccoli stems (ever!) Again. While preparing the broccoli, use a vegetable peeler to peel a layer off the stem. Under the tough outer skin is a tender and sweet inside that’s perfect for taking on flavor.
From there, slice from the stem down to get large spears of broccoli. This makes sure that the florets stay intact and that the stems get as much exposure to the heat as they can to roast. Keep all the little pieces that come from chopping the broccoli — those get extra crispy (re: delicious) in the oven. And when it comes to baking vegetables, high heat and lots of space are key. Note: This means two sheet trays will do the trick. But because these are larger pieces, you want to space them out so they roast instead of steam.
Pack on the Flavor With This Drizzle
This sauce is so good that I always double it. I had originally made this Miso-Sesame Vinaigrette from food genius J.Kenji López-Alt for a salad a few weeks ago. When I was making this broccoli, I thought it might be a good option for the vegetable, but I was missing several of the ingredients. Solution? I decided to go rogue with what I had on hand, and I’m glad I did. A few swaps and a craving for spice resulted in this dreamy dressing that I’ll be making on repeat.
The chili oil is what really adds this nice creeping heat that keeps the topping from overwhelming your palate with spice. Plus, it’s delicious enough to keep you coming back for seconds. I grab my chili oil from H-Mart, but I’ve also used Hetty McKinnon’s Everything Oil from her cookbook, To Asia, With Love. Before you ask, yes you could use chili crisp if you wanted. I love the Fly By Jing Chili Crisp and Momofuku Chili Crunch. I’ll just add a little extra oil as needed.
The combination of the heat with the sweetness from the honey boosted by the umami saltiness from the miso is so good. And the broccoli is a perfect blank canvas for the flavor. As with all dressings, taste as you go and adjust to fit your preferences. Use my recipe below as a guide!
Serve it All Up
This no-recipe recipe has been in my rotation for a while, and I’ve already served it up in so many ways. Aside from eating it straight off the sheet tray (highly recommend), this broccoli is great over rice, noodles, and even in sandwiches. I love getting creative with sandwich fillings, and the larger slices of broccoli are perfect on top of bread. I’ve chopped up leftovers and reheated in a pan with greens to fill a frittata. And if you really want to get creative, try crisping them up in the oven and enjoying over avocado toast. Be sure to make extra dressing to add to leftovers. That is, if you have any.