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A Few Heads of Broccoli, 5 Dinners

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Put time into dinner now, and you can make it last forever -- or at least the whole week. Welcome to Halfway to Dinner, where we show you how to stretch your staples every which way. 

Today: Jodi Moreno from What's Cooking Good Looking shows us that broccoli doesn't have to be boring (or steamed). 

Most people keep broccoli on hand in the fridge, because it makes for a quick, easy side dish -- but even so, it's underrated. Sure, it's easy to steam and dress with butter and salt -- but you'll never find me doing that at my house. instead, I usually shake things up with one of these 5 recipes below. Go on, take broccoli back. 

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Pomegranates
This is a festive and colorful side dish that is perfect for the holidays. Pomegranates add color, flavor, and texture, and tahini paris perfectly with roasted vegetables. This is one of those dishes that looks impressive and fancy, but takes minimal effort and time in the kitchen -- even more of a reason it's perfect for the holidays. 

Whole Roasted Broccoli
Whole roasted cauliflower has seen its time in the sun -- but broccoli works just as well when roasted whole. You literally just season -- I like garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper -- and roast for 30 minutes at 400º F. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over the top when it's done, and pair it with quinoa or rice, and any kind of protein you like. After many years of chopping off the bottom stem of the broccoli, I have since learned that not only is it edible, but it is very tasty and should not be wasted. This is a great way to start eating the whole broccoli, if you're not already. 

Grilled Broccoli
Grilling is my favorite way to prepare broccoli -- with not much more than olive oil, salt, and pepper, this is also a very simple dish that you can pair with just about anything else to make a meal. I like to add tamari and sesame oil during cooking, and serve it over rice next to a piece of salmon. Looking for more options? Try this tofu

Broccoli Pesto
This is great for when you have some leftover broccoli, or if you're looking to steer away from more obvious broccoli recipes. Making broccoli pesto is super easy, and you can save it for several days in the fridge and use in a number of different ways. It's great over pasta, or spread over toast. You can even serve it over eggs and eat it for breakfast.  

Broccoli Sesame Soup
This soup is hearty, comforting, and so simple to make. It takes no more than 30 to 40 minutes to prepare, and you can make a big batch of it to feed you all week long. I add toasted almonds or toasted walnuts before I purée -- they add a creamy texture to the soup without the addition of cream. 

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Pomegranates

Serves a few people as a side dish 

1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
A handful of chives or green onion, chopped
A pinch of parsley, chopped
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by Jodi Moreno. 

Tags: broccoli, sides, halfway to dinner,

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