During my visits to Montréal I’m always fixated on visiting my favourite brunch spot in Old Montréal, a quaint bakery and café Olive & Gourmando. Once upon a time, my dream was to open up a bakery – little did I know that living paleo would smash that dream into smithereens… no dust. Anyhow, sometimes some bread and pastry therapy every now and then helps heal the wounds. Olive & Gourmando has a wide variety of offerings from “poached egg in your face” panini (delicious), salad niçoise (good) to homemade ricotta “salty” served with rapini topped with parmesan, toasted pine nuts and currants and a pool of creamy ricotta and a pile of crusty toasted baguette (I die). It’s literally a mouthful.
Although the ricotta was the centrepiece of the entrée I was totally mesmerized by the accompanied cold rapini salad. It was super salty to the point that I was ‘this’ close to sending it back, but at the same time it was oddly addictive. It hit all the right notes with the parmesan, nuts and currants and the bitterness of the rapini just added that much more (when do you ever hear someone saying that?).
Since we’re not going to Montréal every weekend I decided to try recreating it. In my version that I’m sure the chef would scoff as “sacrilège!” I used broccoli that I roasted instead of blanching so it lacks that bitter dimension. And since it’s winter it just made sense to roast it but as summer creeps in I’ll go for blanched rapini, broccoli or even broccolini. This would go wonderfully with some flank steak or even a pool of herby ricotta and crusty baguette if that’s your thing. I know it is for me.
“Salty” Roasted Broccoli with Currants and Pine Nuts
Serves as a side for 4
- 3 crowns of broccoli or one very large head of broccoli
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil, or other liquid high heat oil
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- ¼ scant cup pine nuts
- ¼ scant cup currants
First, set your oven to preheat on 400°F on the convection roast setting. Next, wash your broccoli and dry it off really well.
Cut the broccoli into medium sized florets with a fair bit of stem attached.
Drizzle the florets with the oil and season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper…
…and add half the amount of grated parmesan cheese. If you are strict paleo you can sub the same amount of nutritional yeast and if you’re really really strict paleo, I’m sorry but I can’t help you 😉
Toss it all together…
… and spread the florets onto the baking sheet so they don’t touch each other. This will steam the broccoli and prevent it from crisping up. Place the baking sheet in the oven to roast for 20 minutes and go make a puzzle.
After 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and marvel at its beauty.
Transfer the broccoli to a dish and add the remaining amount of parmesan and lemon zest,
…toasted pine nuts and toss it all together…
… and consume.