Broccoli is a hard sell at my house. I am the only one that likes it, but I am determined to get the rest of my family to eat it. I have tried lots and lots of different ways to make it, and I have been happy to get anyone to eat more than a bite. They still don’t love broccoli, but roasted broccoli has been my biggest success. Roasting vegetables brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetables. I never thought that I liked beets until I ate a roasted one. Now, if I think that a veg might be tough to get my family to eat, I try it roasted first. If that doesn’t work, cover it in cheese. And leftovers make amazing soup the next day.
Last year, Ava and I happened to be shopping in our local Whole Foods and we were asked to be a witness to a Guinness World Record event. Whole Foods was reclaiming the world record for the most Parmigiano Reggiano wheels simultaneously cracked. They cracked a huge wheel of cheese (85 pounds to be exact) with a special knife just for this job, then there was a celebration of all things Parmesan. Fresh slivers of Parmesan from the wheel and lots of passed snacks featuring Parm. It was a fortuitous time to be in the store. We had a lot of fun. In total, they cracked 426 wheels of cheese, setting the new world record.
I love cheese, but Parmigiano Reggiano holds a special place in my heart. I always have some in my fridge. I buy the real deal from Whole Foods, and it is worth every extra penny. You know that it is the real thing because it has a studded rind that is numbered. Whole Foods ages their wheels for 24 months for the best flavor and texture. The result is nutty, toasty, salty, and has a subtle crystal texture. I like to use a vegetable peeler and shave ribbons on top of salad, pasta, soup, or vegetables.
This weekend, Whole Foods is celebrating “the king of cheese” by simultaneously cracking wheels at their stores coast-to-coast. The “Crack Heard Around The World” is taking place at the Old Town Alexandria Whole Foods, March 8th at 3pm. Call your local store for more information. To celebrate, Whole Foods is giving away a $75 gift card to a Baked Bree reader. You can enter at the end of this post.
3 heads broccoli
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons pine nuts
Freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the broccoli into florets and spread out on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss to coat.
Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender and brown.
While the broccoli is roasting, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet.
Add the zest from the lemon, then squeeze the juice over.
Transfer to a platter and add pine nuts and Parmesan shavings.