Recipes like this are for those nights when you get home from an extra-nasty long day at work and it’s late and you’re exhausted and you really don’t want to cook.
You may be dreaming about the cozy bar on the corner where you can settle in with some nachos and beer. But reality intrudes and you realize it’s too late for that. If you go out you won’t be able to get back in time to get to bed at a decent hour, plus you know if you have beer and nachos this late, your stomach will sabotage you and keep you awake. And you need sleep.
So here’s what we do. We’re going to make roasted broccoli with nacho toppings: It’ll be inexpensive ($10 to $13) and quick, you’re going to feel satisfied (and maybe even a little proud), and you won’t make yourself too sick for a decent night’s sleep.
Now I am making one major assumption, that you in fact have the ingredients to make nachos in your fridge already. And I will tell you that if you do not keep your kitchen stocked with cheese, salsa, scallions, a can of beans, maybe a jar of pickled jalapeños, you really should start. Most of these ingredients store well, and they are useful for making late-night quesadillas, tacos, simple bean dishes. Plus, they go with eggs. You will always find a use for them!
And as for the broccoli, if you don’t have that, any vegetable that tastes good roasted and is hearty enough to stand up to the toppings will work: Cauliflower is an excellent stand-in, and I have made this dish with sweet potatoes and even shredded cabbage as the base and loved it. I bet green beans would be good, too.
These are not “healthy” nachos. They are their own delicious dish. And the broccoli itself is not just a vehicle for cheese—when roasted, it’s crunchy and nutty, and it really sings with the savory, salty cheese and all the other nacho fixings.
Enjoy with as much greedy gusto as you can muster. Then get some sleep.
- 3 or 4 large crowns of broccoli
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- 3 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, finely sliced (optional)
- Tomato, chopped (optional)
- Onion, chopped (optional)
For topping and accessorizing:
- Sour cream with lime juice
- Guacamole (avocado, lime juice, salt)