Garlicky, Lemony Roasted Broccoli

April 14, 2021
12 Ratings
Photo by Carolina Gelen
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

My goal was to create a well-balanced combination of common ingredients that make the humble broccoli outshine all other side dishes on the dinner table. This broccoli recipe is robust, refreshing and will definitely leave you satisfied. What makes it satisfying is its complex flavor profile balancing out any hearty dinner, without leaving you overstuffed. This side dish is a multitude of fresh flavors that will make the roasted broccoli the main character of the show, not just a supporting actor.

Let’s talk about the elements that constitute our side dish. First things first, the broccoli: Roasting the broccoli brings out its slight sweetness, while also providing a pleasant tender texture with a crisp bite. The roasted garlic will impart an umami undertone to the whole dish, without overpowering the other components. We are creating a subtle caramelization of the garlic that diminishes its pungency and bitterness, while conserving its characteristic flavor. The lemon juice and lemon zest brighten the whole dish, while adding acidity to create a healthy flavor equilibrium between the salt, fat, and spice levels.

To top things off, although optional, I highly recommend finishing the dish with some Parmesan shavings that will really take everything to the next level. —Carolina Gelen

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 2 small heads garlic
  • 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, both white and green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 handful shaved Parmesan (optional, but recommended)
  1. Heat the oven to 420°F or 220°C.
  2. Cut off the pointed top of the garlic heads off, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on each head of garlic and wrap each one of them tightly in aluminum foil.
  3. Cut the broccoli florets off the stem, wash them, and place them on a baking sheet. Evenly coat the broccoli with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place the garlic next to the broccoli and bake everything for 20 to 25 minutes, then remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  4. Squeeze out the slightly caramelized garlic onto a cutting board and roughly chop it. In a bowl, add the thinly sliced scallions and serrano pepper, roughly chopped parsley and garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Roughly mix all the ingredients together using a spoon. Toss half of the mixture on the roasted broccoli, evenly coating the florets.
  5. Place the roasted broccoli on the serving plate and spoon the rest of the salsa on top. As an optional step, sprinkle some Parmesan shavings on top of the broccoli.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Johanna Gallant
    Johanna Gallant
  • Mayelin P
    Mayelin P
  • KatherineG
  • virginia224
Carolina is a resident at Food52. She's also one of the hosts of Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure, our YouTube show where our Food52 readers pick the ingredients and techniques for a brand new recipe. Carolina recently immigrated to the U.S. from Transylvania, a place she spent most of her life. She continues to get inspired by the classic Romanian and Hungarian foods she was raised on, creating approachable, colorful, and fun recipes. For more cooking ideas and candid moments, check out her Instagram @carolinagelen.

4 Reviews

KatherineG March 2, 2022
This food blogger was the one who "created" mochi and called it "rice gnocchi", effectively crediting italians for an Asian food. She also didn't credit Asians, and when asked to, ignored and actively silenced people's concerns by blocking them. It's such a shame that another creator is appropriating Asian culture, profiting off of it, and actively avoiding recompense.
virginia224 October 15, 2021
This was delicious. I will use a little less lemon next time and add some pine nuts but this was the best roasted broccoli recipe I’ve had.
Johanna G. December 25, 2020
I love how Carolina’s recipes are all so approachable and flavorful. This amazing broccoli dish is exactly that! I was blown away with how fresh it tasted- I’ve always loved broccoli but this takes to a whole new level.
Mayelin P. December 4, 2020
I made this following the recipe almost exactly (but replaced parsley for basil and scallions for finely chopped red onion since it’s what I had) and IT WAS FANTASTIC!! Such a fresh and vibrant taste and so easy to make.