Flash-Roasted Broccoli… with Crisp Panko Topping

Flash-Roasted Broccoli… with Crisp Panko Topping. I’ve been on vacation for sometime now. Finally got home. Back in my kitchen again. My vacation had me trying out new dishes… in a world full of talented chefs. NYC to be exact. For years I’ve wanted to personally taste food that I had only heard or read about… readily available in the vast city of New York. I had a list of foods I wanted to try. Ended up trying out most of them on my list… like the NY-style pizza, the pastrami cured-smoked salmon bagel sandwich, the NY black and white cookie, the famous Levain cookies, the cupcakes, the mile high pastrami sandwich and so many other foods that I don’t have time to list. Didn’t realize that I would also get the chance to try out foods I hadn’t planned on …  like the Italian sfogliatelle, the Japanese cheesecake, the Ukranian pierogi, and even the Romanian mititei. I loved,  loved NYC… and came back inspired.
While in NY, I had the chance to visit Chelsea Market…. a fun little place! Chelsea Market is a quaint indoor shopping/eating area that offers unique food or kitchen related products… among other things. There’s also various food stalls offering delicious pastries, freshly baked breads, and sandwiches as well as other meals. But you’ll find items that vary from shop to shop…. and they are all unique in the wares they sell. But among the shops that are in the Chelsea Market area, one particular shop had me lingering there for some time. The shop sold various food items mostly imported from Italy with a few items from other European countries. Some of the products were foods that you normally couldn’t transport back to the US after your visit in Europe…. such as deli items. So while we were browsing, my husband spotted some dry chorizo from Spain. He loves the fresh chorizo we get here in Montana from our local butcher, so the dried chorizo got his attention. The ingredient list for the chorizo was free of preservatives, so I was thrilled. Ended buying the chorizo. When I came home, I quickly knew how I would use some of it.
 I first saw the recipe for this roasted broccoli with crisp panko topping a week or so before heading out to NYC. I knew I wanted to make it when I got back, so I bookmarked it. At the time, I was thinking I was going to use pepperoni as per original recipe. But with my new find, I swapped the pepperoni for the dry chorizo. As much as I don’t care for broccoli, the crisp chorizo-panko topping elevated the broccoli to a new level.  And if you are looking for a new way to serve broccoli, the crisp topping is a great way to add a ton of flavor to the somewhat ordinary vegetable. Hope you enjoy…  

Note: I made the recipe 2 ways… using the technique of spreading mustard on the roasted broccoli and then dipping it into the panko topping. That yields a beautiful presentation. I also spread some with dijon mustard and some with sour cream. I liked both. The second way I made this was a bit quicker… so if you are in a rush, it’s another option. I ended up tossing the roasted broccoli in a bowl with a mixture of sour cream and mustard… then I sprinkled the panko topping and tossed again. This version wasn’t as pretty in presentation, but tasted just the same. The photos above reflect the 2 versions. 

Tip:Even if you don’t care for broccoli, the crisp panko topping is worth making. You can sprinkle the topping on other vegetables as well… I loved sprinkling it on top of a salad.  It would be great on top of pasta, chicken, etc…

You will need: adapted from Food and Wine
2 ounces chopped dry chorizo or sliced pepperoni
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds broccoli, trimmed and cut into long spears
Salt as needed
2 TBS Dijon mustard and/or sour cream*
* if you don’t care for mustard, try replacing the mustard with sour cream or do half mustard half sour cream. I liked both versions. Alternately, I am sure you can also use a thick salad dressing such as blue cheese, buttermilk, ranch, etc…
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

1. Place the chopped chorizo (or sliced pepperoni) and garlic in a small food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.

2. Add the panko and pulse just to combine.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet.  Add the crumb mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring… until crisp and golden. This should take about 3-5 minutes…. just be careful not to burn. Lower heat if need be. 
4. Remove the toasted crumbs unto a onto a plate and allow to cool. Set aside.
5. Toss the broccoli with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt. 
2013 01 28roastedbroccoli
6. Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet  in a single layer and roast for about 15 minutes. You can turn the broccoli over once as it’s roasting. Roast until tender and browned in spots. 
7. Using a pastry brush, spread the mustard( or sour cream) on one side of the broccoli and press the broccoli into the crumbs. 
8. Transfer the broccoli to a platter, sprinkle with any remaining crumbs and serve.


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