baked oats green chile chicken enchiladas chow mein bakery-style butter cookies

copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2023 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent

another year

Recipe: roasted broccoli

Welcome to a new year! I hope you had a good winter holiday. While my own pack passed an uneventful end of 2017 and start of 2018, some of the people in our lives suffered unexpected losses, got bad news, or have been dealt some tough circumstances. Let’s face it, Life doesn’t care about arbitrary calendar boundaries. Whether you are or are not the type of person who makes resolutions with the new year (I am not), I think it’s fair to say that the world can always use more compassion and kindness starting any time, but especially starting now. Maybe it means donating to charities that matter to you, or offering to help someone who is struggling, or volunteering your time. Whatever it is you do, I hope you do it with an open heart. And I thank you.

neva wishes you a happy new year

torchlight parade and fireworks on new year’s eve under a nearly full moon (composite)

more pretty fireworks

new year’s eve dinner: potstickers and chinese cellophane noodle soup

Santa Ullr brought a nice dump of snow on Christmas Day, and we’ve been trying to squeeze as much as we can from it because we have returned to the sunny and dry weather which has dominated much of the early season. The lack of snow meant that we hadn’t been logging many ski days until we got to Crested Butte. It also meant our bodies were not as ski-ready as they would normally be by this time on any given winter. We’ve been rotating through telemark skiing the mountain, uphill skiing, and skate skiing. And when the snow gets old and tired, I tell myself that this is still better than living almost anyplace else (except those mountains with more snow right now!).

jeremy is about to dive in on christmas day

early morning colors on our way to the mountain to uphill ski

skating the handful of open trails

There was a full (super) moon on New Year’s Day, so we thought it would be neat to skin (ski uphill) up the mountain to a good location and capture moonrise. When we left the house, the eastern horizon was clear of clouds. Of course, by the time we climbed to the top and unpacked and assembled all of my photo equipment, weather started spilling over the mountains where the moon was supposed to be. That was a bummer, but the mountains were still beautiful and the sunset in the opposite direction did not disappoint and it’s kind of amazing to be able to do this at all, right?

no moonrise, but such pretty alpenglow on the elk mountains

here’s the sunset opposite the clouded out moonrise

meta: my camera pointed at sunset while the groomer works the snow

skiing out by headlamp in the dark

I think my past self might have been super bummed over missing out on moonrise, but my present self didn’t miss a beat and captured the other magic going on around us. When we realized the cloud bank was too thick, Jeremy said he was sorry about that. I told him not to be sorry. I said it was fun to go on an uphill ski at sunset with him even if we had schlepped the gear up for nothing. Am I mellowing with age? Probably. I think more importantly, I have learned to savor the ordinary for being anything but.

That includes broccoli. What are your feelings about broccoli? I mean your true feelings? I grew up eating bright green, crunchy broccoli sautéed Chinese-style with garlic at home. I never understood the ubiquitous sad, boiled florets slapped onto cafeteria trays as the token green in restaurants or in the lunch room. If you wanted to dishonor a vegetable, that was certainly the way to do it. Lately, one of my favorite ways to serve broccoli is by simply roasting it.

broccoli, salt, pepper, olive oil

Roasted broccoli is the easiest recipe and winter is the perfect time to make it. If I buy bunches of broccoli, I cut the florets off and reserve the stalks to use in stir-fries, salads, or soups. Lately, I’ve been grabbing a three-pound bag of broccoli florets from Costco, cutting the large ones into manageable sizes, and roasting the whole batch. Since these florets don’t come pre-washed, I rinse them and then shake out as much excess water as possible, then I let the broccoli sit out to dry for an hour. The less water on the broccoli when you roast it, the more browning and crisping you will achieve rather than steaming.

drizzle with olive oil

season with salt and pepper

toss together

I spread the broccoli out on a large (2/3-size) rimmed sheet pan and pop it into a hot 425°F oven. In my oven, it takes about 20 minutes for the pieces to brown where they are touching the baking sheet. At that point, I take the pan out of the oven and flip each piece so that a new surface can brown on the baking sheet. After another 20 minutes, the broccoli is done.

spread in a single layer on a baking sheet

turn after 20 minutes

nicely browned

What you get is broccoli that is crisped on the outside, tender inside, and deliciously nutty. Some people like to add lemon or cheese, but seriously, roasted broccoli is incredibly satisfying as-is. I can eat these right off the pan the way some people eat m&ms. It’s great for weeknights, as a side dish for dinner parties, chopped up as a pizza topping or tossed with pasta, included with a hearty salad (lentils, beans, grains), or straight up. I’m constantly astonished at how many people actively avoid vegetables. Everyone could use more vegetables in their lives. If more folks knew how easy and tasty roasted broccoli is, I think we’d be halfway there.

the crisp bits are the best

lemon wedges for an optional hit of acid

Roasted Broccoli
[print recipe]

3 lbs. broccoli florets, cut into large bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup olive oil (more as needed)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli florets with half of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Toss with remaining olive oil. Spread the broccoli into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (I line mine with aluminum foil). Roast for 20 minutes, turn the broccoli (to increase the surface area of browning) and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 8-12.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

roasted broccoli and farro salad with feta broccoli salad roasted asparagus roasted brussels sprouts

17 nibbles at “another year”

  1. Linda says:

    Lovely pictures, as usual! Thank you for that gift. As far as broccoli goes, I love it any way I can get it; same with cauliflower and brussels sprouts!

  2. Ellie's friend from Canada says:

    Just a note to say how much I enjoy your blog. I’m going to try your roasted broccoli. I love broccoli salad, too. I saw the super moon last night but it was shrouded with fog or clouds. Very beautiful. Happy New Year.
    Great health and great skiing. Ann

  3. Kristin says:

    Your photos are gorgeous! We love roasted broccoli. The boy child prefers steamed (ugh, but at least he loves that) so roasting again is one benefit to his going back to school!

  4. Melissa says:

    Love that first paragraph. Well said.

    I feel kind of lucky to love vegetables so much, but man, I could eat broccoli all day every day. Oddly enough, I rarely roast it. But I cook with it plenty. And whenever I am cutting up a big bunch of it, I munch on the stalks as I go. Same with cauliflower.

  5. Bette says:

    >>I think more importantly, I have learned to savor the ordinary for being anything but.

    I have a feeling this is the secret to happiness. I’m working on this, too.

    Re broccoli — I love it.

  6. Steve says:

    Jen, I think the main reason I’ve been following your blog (life) for the past 5? 7? 10? years is because I love the way you see the world and how you unfailingly spread kindness to those who cross your path. Thank you for being a bright light that always inspires me.

    And oh man roasted broccoli…shave some parm on it and a squirt of lemon juice. One of my favorite sides too!

    Hope the New Year delivers some better news soon. I like to keep in mind one of the constants in life is change. Whatever is bad, won’t be bad forever. And whatever is good (the simple and the incredible) should be appreciated.

    Steve + Lorna

  7. Linda says:

    Your blog and pictures are amazing…I have followed you for a very long time and I always enjoy reading your blog and being able to view your part of this beautiful planet. I wish you and your family much enjoyment, health and love.

  8. Sora says:

    I make this at least once a week, sometimes more…but there’s no way it would serve 8-12 around here. Either one of my two teenage boys would eat the entire pan at one sitting if I let them!

  9. Jean ann says:

    Love the line about savoring the ordinary for being anything but. Re broccoli. Loved it! Thought if I were ever reduced to only one food, it would be broccoli. Then I got a somewhat rare disease and take weird drugs to manage it and instantly could not stand broccoli. I eat like a toddler. Oh well. At least I’m still on the right side of the dirt.

  10. Catherine says:

    You are a must-read for me every week and because I (long long ago) worked at a Colorado ski resort, I love to vicariously experience your high country life. Thanks for all of the culinary and visual inspiration.

  11. Lisha says:

    Happy new year to you and your pack! Thank you for keeping up this wonderful blog which I’ve been following for many many years. Even though I rarely leave a comment, I read each and every one of your posts and I love your recipes, stories and pictures. Also I’ve completely fallen in love with Colorado without having ever been. <3

  12. farmerpam says:

    Yea, it’s all good, the extra-ordinary. No matter what life’s throwing at us, the beauty is always there, somewhere, maybe not what we were expecting, but maybe what we were needing. Loving the alpenglow! I roast up the bag of Costco broccoli and eat off it the rest of the week, cold with hummus, in the morning with eggs, easy peasy once it’s in the fridge and ready to go. Nom,nom, I love me some broccoli!

  13. angelitacarmelita says:

    I’m also not a New Years Resolution person, but I loved what you had to say, and also found myself doing MORE at the end of last year than I’ve ever done before. For Others. The thought of being kind (and kinder) to others feels so right, especially these days. I hope everyone can take a piece of that with them. The first picture of Neva and the “snow mess” around her says everything! Love it. xoxo

  14. angelitacarmelita says:

    What I really want right now is a bowl of those noodles!! yes please.

  15. Jill Hyde says:

    Gosh those torchlight parades are beautiful! Love roasted broccoli, and most roasted vegetables! Beautiful pics. xojill

  16. jenyu says:

    Linda – I feel the same about cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. It’s all so good!

    Ann – Thank you so much, and I hope you like it roasted. It’s such a simple thing, but tastes absolutely delicious.

    Kristin – Wow! How on earth did you get the boy child to like steamed broccoli? At least steamed is better than boiled to death :)

    Mel – Yassssss! I personally find them easy to love, although I know some folks just can’t or won’t even try it. Silly people.

    Bette – :) xoxo

    Steve – What a lovely note. Thank you for that. I hope you and Lorna have a seriously awesome 2018 ahead of you. xxoo

    Linda – Thank you and happy new year! <3

    Sora - I think that is the sign of fantastic parenting. Good job!! :)

    Jean ann - Oh no! Sad to hear about your sudden distaste for broccoli. That happened to me with several foods when I was on chemo, but thankfully it wasn't permanent. I'm glad you (and I) are on the right side of the dirt :) That's a great phrase xo

    Catherine - Aw, so sweet. Colorado wants you to come back and visit!

    Lisha - You must come and see it for yourself! My photos only capture a fraction of the amazingness here! Happy new year xo

    farmerpam - Great minds think alike, hon. I love the leftovers as much as fresh out of the oven! xo

    angelitacarmelita - I think a lot of folks are realizing that they can make a difference in their own small way, yes? And I have to believe that the majority of people have better intentions than the few who are messing everything up. <3

    Jill - Thank you, friend! xo

  17. Kristin says:

    Just got lucky with the boy loving broccoli. The girl will only eat raw veggies, preferably straight from the garden. I get it, but it does make feeding her difficult. Luckily, I only have to do that during school breaks, and she is graduating from grad school in May, so her diet really isn’t my problem anymore! But moms worry.

leave a reply