I don’t usually get very fancy with vegetable side dishes, but when I saw these broccoli melts from Smitten Kitchen, I knew I’d be giving them a try. These are fantastic! The broccoli really shines with the bright lemon flavor and salty cheese. These are great on their own, but would be a perfect accompaniment with a bowl of soup or a big salad, or maybe with mushroom tartines! Sometimes all you need are some tasty vegetables on toast with a little cheese!
You don’t need to get fancy with the provolone, the pre-packaged pre-sliced kind works perfectly. But I recommend grating your own parmesan, it has a much fresher taste and you can freeze any leftover rinds for adding depth to soup.
What are your favorite ways to jazz up vegetable side dishes?
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 large crown of broccoli
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 thin slices provolone cheese
- 8 slices good bread, sliced
Cut the broccoli into large florets, and add broccoli with about 3 Tablespoons of water in a large pan with a tight fitting lid, heat over high heat for a few minutes until the broccoli is bright green. Drain the broccoli and use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to squeeze out excess liquid, getting it as dry as possible. Finely chop the cooked broccoli.
Dry the large skillet and heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and pepper flakes, stirring constantly for a minute, or until fragrant. Add the broccoli, season with salt and pepper, and mix well, sautéing for a few minutes. Transfer the broccoli into a large bowl, and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese, mix well.
Line the bread up on a jelly roll pan, and toast the bread under the broiler for a couple of minutes, keeping a close eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Top the bread with a heaping scoop of the broccoli, and top with a slice of provolone. Return the pan to the oven and broil for another minute or two until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown. Serve immediately.