I don’t cook with broccoli that often. Rob does, though. A LOT. Once or twice a week, I kid you not. It is his favourite vegetable. In fact, he was quite distraught that it didn’t top the list of veggie superfoods. Number 11 isn’t too shabby if you ask me, since it was mainly leafy greens that beat every other vegetable.
While I have been exploring new vegetables that could be grown in my backyard, I don’t want to experience ingredient fatigue. Therefore, I have been incorporating non-garden veggies back into my meals. You see, broccoli (and cauliflower) attract a lot of bugs, and thus, didn’t make the cut for our virgin garden year. I will also be breaking out more sweet potato recipes, since they didn’t make the cut either (too much space needed). Nor watercress (needs a lot of water). Not even leek (harder to grow, not very prolific). I am also very sad that we decided not to grow bell peppers, because we were afraid they would never turn red (and what would be the point of non-red peppers? although we will have a chili pepper plant). We will be focusing our energies on easy-to-grow (and tasty) veggies and herbs. Our current list includes kale, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, snow peas, snap peas, green beans, lemongrass, Vietnamese coriander, cilantro, Thai basil, mint, basil, thyme, oregano, chives, garlic chives, dill, lemon verbena, and the one strawberry plant we bought on impulse .
Sometimes you need quick-and-easy recipes, nothing too earth shattering, for times when you don’t want to think about dinner. This is that dish. There is nothing mind-blowing about this meal, but it is pleasingly tasty. Adapted from Appetite for Reduction, the recipe is a vegan spoof on the 40-clove chicken recipe that I had seen circulating the blogosphere, and even hails from a 1967 Gourmet recipe. This is a dish that combines roasted broccoli with roasted garlic in a spicy-lemon oregano dressing. It is not spicy from the garlic (since there are only 10 cloves of roasted garlic), but rather from the Aleppo chili flakes I added in. For the garlic lovers out there, you could even add more garlic (you may also like my Spanish Lentil and Squash Stew with Roasted Garlic).
Throw everything into the oven, flip it a few times, deglaze your pan, and you have a simple dinner ready for you while you were doing something else.
Forty Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli
1 lb broccoli, cut into large spears and stems chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (around 9-10 cups)
10 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (or more!)
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or a 19-oz can, rinsed and drained)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
2 tsp lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1 cup vegetable broth
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the broccoli, garlic and chickpeas in a 9×13 inch baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, chili flakes, lemon zest, oregano and black pepper to taste. Toss to coat and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, flipping once.
2. After 30 minutes, mix broccoli and chickpeas again and add broth, deglazing any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Continue to bake another 15 minutes until the garlic is tender and the broccoli is browned in some places.