A Few Heads of Broccoli, 5 Dinners

December 23, 2013

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). 

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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. 

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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  • PepLV
  • Chickenfog
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Jodi Moreno is a Natural Foods Chef, Photographer, and creator of the blog What’s Cooking Good Looking where she shares her healthy, clean, seasonal recipes and photographs. She’s passionate about showing people that vegetables can play a main role on the plate.


Kenzi W. December 31, 2013
Hi all -- for those of you looking for the soup recipe, here is one from Jodi's blog: Follow this recipe, and just substitute sesame seeds for the almonds.
Donna B. December 29, 2013
Can't load the Broccoli Sesame Soup recipe, please fix as it looks delicious!
Kristen M. December 29, 2013
There's actually no recipe -- the photo is just meant to inspire your version (though there are instructions for making any pureed soup linked above). For more help, check out my response to Count Mockula below.
Kenzi W. December 31, 2013
See above -- I've just posted a recipe from Jodi that should help guide you through the soup.
PepLV December 25, 2013
Soup recipe , please! I'm sure I could come close but am wondering if there is a magical ingredient I might overlook...thanks!
Kristen M. December 29, 2013
PepLV, here's a similar broccoli soup post on Jodi's blog for inspiration:
Chickenfog December 25, 2013
Where is the recipe for the soup?
Kristen M. December 29, 2013
Chickenfog, sorry for the delayed response -- the photos and descriptions in this column are meant to provide inspiration, rather than a complete set of recipes, but check out my response below to Count Mockula for further instructions on the soup.
Diane December 25, 2013
When roasting the whole broccoli do you peel the stalk before roasting?
Kristen M. December 29, 2013
It doesn't sound (or look) like Jodi peeled hers. Easy!
Count M. December 23, 2013
Is there an actual recipe for the broccoli sesame soup, or should I just plan to follow the pureed vegetable soup instructions and add sesame oil or sesame seeds? It sounds lovely...
Kristen M. December 29, 2013
I would riff on the pureed soup instructions linked in the article above, or check out this similar post on Jodi's blog for inspiration: