There’s a lot you can do with a tin of anchovies. Once you get over your fear, trust me, a whole new world opens up. After filling you up with pumpkin donuts, it’s only fair that we move on to things like broccoli, one of my favorite vegetables. Unlike chard and kale, which I get really sick of by the end of winter, I could literally eat broccoli all year round. And I do. Does it even have a season? Because I kind of don’t even care if it does.
I’m still trying to learn to love cauliflower (nope, not there yet), but broccoli, broccoli is my kind of vegetable. I used to always steam or saute broccoli until I discovered possibly the best way to prepare it: roasting it. Roasting broccoli transforms it from the stuff your mom used to make you eat to the stuff high-brow modern Italian restaurants serve as a pricey side dish. And you know what? It’s so easy. Roast a giant batch of broccoli for a dinner party. Or just yourself. I think I’d be pretty content eating a giant bowl of roasted broccoli with a side of cheese and a glass of red wine. Oh wait, I HAVE done that! Recently, in fact.
Once I realized how awesome roasted broccoli is, I was curious: what if I added anchovies to it? Totally normal. Ever since I got the Flavor Bible, I find myself constantly thinking: What if dip these apples into curry? Or what if I add mint to tomatoes? In any case, we’re talking about anchovies. The salty little fish, packed in a tin can, floating in oil. When you add these babies to a skillet filled with hot oil, cook em up until they break down, and then throw in roasted broccoli, you have something truly magical. The broccoli takes on an umami-like flavor, becomes meatier and heartier. I bet this stuff would be amazing in pasta. This dish has become a regular routine in our household. Once you try it, I think it will become a staple in yours.
We asked Facebook friends if anchovies were weird or awesome and, overwhelmingly, folks said they were totally awesome. What’s your favorite way to use them?
Roasted Broccoli with Anchovy Sauce
2 heads of broccoli
salt and pepper
5 anchovies packed in oil
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the broccoli into florets and put them in a medium bowl. Toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the broccoli for about 20-25 minutes, until tender and lightly golden around the edges.
2. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the anchovies and cook them until they break down (use a wooden spoon to break up any big chunks).
3. Toss the broccoli into the skillet and mix well with the anchovy sauce. Serve warm.
Musical Pairings: Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model + Roasted Broccoli with Anchovy Sauce
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