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Roasted Broccoli with Caper Flowers and Chile

Makes6 to 8 servings
  • Active time: 20 min
    Total time: 40 min
Many vegetables benefit from roasting, which deepens their flavor, and broccoli is no exception. Frying capers first in a chile-laced olive oil, where they bloom and crisp, then showering them on top, brighten the broccoli with a briny, spicy bite.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pounds broccoli, trimmed into 2-inch wide by 3-inch long spears (peel stems, if desired)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon drained capers, patted very dry
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot chile flakes (optional, particularly if children are involved)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.
  • Blanch broccoli, in 2 batches if necessary, in a large pot (5 to 6 quart) of boiling water seasoned with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 minutes, then drain in a colander. Transfer to a towel lined surface to dry in a single layer.
  • Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add capers and chile flakes and fry until capers begin to “bloom” or open slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer capers with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve oil.
  • Transfer broccoli to a large (18 by 13 inch) rimmed sheet pan and toss with reserved oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast until browned in spots, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and toss with fried capers.

COOKS’ NOTES:

  • If making the chicken in this menu to accompany broccoli, roast chicken in bottom third and broccoli in upper third of oven. Roasting time for broccoli will be longer, about 25 minutes total.
  • Broccoli can be blanched 1 day ahead and kept in a large sealable plastic bag between paper towels.
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