We get together with a couple of friends every so often and make a big crab boil. I mean the full shebang with dipping butter, malt vinegar and all the veggies that go in a boil like potatoes, corn, asparagus, onion and garlic. This tradition goes back to when we would get together weekly at a fish shack in town that ran a special on Thursday nights. $16.99 for the 2lb crab dinner. We’d sit on their balcony, almost every week, order a pitcher of beer and spend time together having fun and picking through our crab legs. At the time, we couldn’t believe it, I mean, $16.99 is basically what 2lb of crab costs at the store so we were getting that plus sides and not having to cook or clean up! It seemed too good to be true and we didn’t understand how they stayed in business with that good a deal going. Well, turns out that wasn’t good business after all and they closed after a year. Okay so all that set-up was to describe how much we really enjoy our crab boil. So there we are sitting down to a spread of hot crab and spicy, boiled goodness and my friend finishes up her side-item that she’s baking in my oven. She called it “crack broccoli” and when she said it was good, that was an understatement! The broccoli was so good that we all stopped eating crab and let it go cold while we heaped our plates with this dish. I have made it in large batches many many times since and it is SO good. Pro-tip, don’t leave out the lemon juice, it really seals the addiction.
- 2lb raw broccoli florets, washed and trimmed
- 6 TBS olive oil
- 2 tsp Kosher salt (or a citrus scented salt)
- 1 – 1.5 tsp sugar (do not skimp on this! The recipe won’t work without it.)
- 1 lemon, juiced (bottled is OK but fresh is better)
Take out a large baking sheet and line it with tin-foil. Put it in the oven and then preheat your oven to 500°F. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli well with all the ingredients except the lemon juice. Once the oven is preheated and your pan is too, quickly take out the pan and spread the broccoli out as evenly as you can in a single layer. Replace it back in the oven and bake for 14-15 minutes or until the tops are almost blackening and the bottoms are browning nicely. After it’s done, sprinkle the broccoli with lemon juice and serve! It’s best right out of the oven but I’ll eat it as leftovers any day of the week.
I adapted this from a blog, benandbirty.blogspot.com, I found with the recipe. They recommend peeling the broccoli stalks so they’re more tender and brown easier. I just leave them in a little longer and save time. Either way, you should try this out at home, it’s fantastic! This method also works with other fibrous green veggies like brussel sprouts. Clean and cut them in halves and follow the rest of the directions. Pretty yummy!