Learning to Cook with 'Basically 10x10': Recipe 3
Week three of Basically 10x10 comin’ atcha 💃! This week, Basically is serving up some crispy roasted broccoli with tahini sauce. As I cooked my way through the recipe, I really came to appreciate how simple yet thoughtful this veggie concoction truly is. It’s super easy and inexpensive, yet still so much more special than simply steaming broccoli. It’s not a ton of broccoli, so, if you’re serving it as a side to a main, either double up on the green stuff or consider an additional side. I opted to enjoy it served over jasmine rice and it was the perfect amount for me. And what did I learn? How to properly roast veggies (while being careful not to accidentally steam them) and whip up a quick sauce that can really turn roasted veggies from good to great.
**Assistance images from Basically
1 large head of broccoli with stem **Coming back to this recipe, I would use 2 heads of broccoli. 1 head of broccoli was not nearly enough!
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 garlic clove
5 Tbsp. tahini
2 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds
What You’ll Need
Rimmed Baking Sheet
Citrus Juicer **I just used my fingers to strain the lemon seeds!
Microplante ** I used my box grater
1. Preheat oven to 425°. (Higher heat = more caramelization, more quickly.) Remove bottom 2" of tough stem from 1 head of broccoli with a chef’s knife; discard. Cut broccoli crosswise, starting with the stem end (yep, you can eat most of the stem!) into ¼" slices. When you reach the crown, slow your slicing so you can push the florets to the side as they begin to fall with each slice. You want to have lots of loose florets. No matter what kinds of veggies you're roasting, you want to cut them into pieces that are about the same size so that they cook at the same(ish) rate.
2. Transfer broccoli to a rimmed baking sheet. (If you don't have a proper, heavy-duty aluminum half sheet pan, this is a reminder to invest in one ASAP.) Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil; season with 1 tsp. salt and toss to coat. If you were interested in adding any spices—think curry powder, chili flakes, fennel seeds—this is the time to do it.
Note: I added chili flakes for a little bit of spice.
3. Arrange broccoli on pan in a single layer, spacing so no pieces overlap (this ensures broccoli will roast properly, not just steam). Roast until nicely browned, even charred in spots, and crispy with a bright green interior, 8–10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make your tahini sauce. Cut 1 lemon in half. Using a citrus juicer (or your hands), juice lemon (fish out any seeds) into a small bowl. Cut remaining 1 lemon into wedges; set aside for serving. Peel 1 garlic clove and use a Microplane to grate it into bowl with lemon juice. (We're big fans of grated garlic over here, especially when it comes to dressings and sauces. It's a hell of a lot easier than trying to get a fine, even mince with a knife, and there's no risk of biting into a big chunk of raw garlic later on.)
5. Add 5 Tbsp. tahini, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ cup hot water and whisk until smooth. Give it a taste: The richness of the tahini and zippiness from the lemon should be nicely balanced, so adjust with more of either if necessary, and don't be afraid to add more salt if the sauce doesn't pop.
6. Gently toss broccoli by giving pan a shake (or use a spatula). Continue to roast until browned in spots and tender, 5–8 minutes longer. As with all recipes, the amount of time it takes is going to have a lot to do with the equipment you're using—you want that broccoli to have plenty of color on it, so don't be afraid to keep roasting until you get there.
7. Heat a small skillet over medium. Toast 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, tossing frequently, until light golden and slightly fragrant, about 2 minutes. Don’t walk away; the seeds will burn quickly! Let cool. (And, FWIW, this recipe will still be good if you skipped the sesame seeds—but if you're going to use them, make sure to toast them, which will make them a lot more flavorful. Cool?)
8. Transfer broccoli to a platter and drizzle with tahini sauce. Top with sesame seeds and reserved lemon wedges for squeezing over. One of the great things about roasted vegetables is that they're just as delicious room temperature as they are piping hot, so don't stress if the rest of dinner isn't ready yet.
Assessment: As I said above, this recipe is easy and thoughtful, which I certainly appreciated! While the sauce was good, this gal is not a tahini fan!!!…but, even though it’s not my favorite flavor, I didn’t mind it with the sweet roasted broccoli!