It’s been a trying week. A week of trying really hard. Too hard, maybe. Taking a lot personally about work. Sometimes, the situations that you think are about you aren’t. I need to remember that and as a perfectionist when it comes to my job, that’s tough. It’s been physically grueling, as well. Standing, rushing about, hunching over a set, grill-marking my cuticle with a hot skewer. Not exactly the glamorous life of food styling that everyone (might) think it is. After having a full day away from it all, would I change it? Not a chance. All I need is a day or so away to recharge – and do normal life things like go to the post office – and I’m ready to be back at it.
Speaking of trying, I’m also trying to get back in the kitchen. It’s been a harder transition than I expected…this attempting to work and move into the new place and adjust and not know where everything still is. My office and studio space is the only room in the house that still has boxes in it – I simply haven’t had the time to settle in. I even missed last weekend’s Saturday Soup post, which I can assure you is not going to happen this week. On my one day off in what seems like an eternity, I made something simple and exactly the opposite of what I’ve been styling all week (those blessed sandwiches!!!).
After several days of looking at stuff smooshed between bread – including most of my take-out container lunches at the studio – I needed crunch. Vitamins. Some texture and spice. I recently had a side dish of something like this at a restaurant in the new neighborhood…and yesterday I made the version I wish I had been served. Spicy from the chopped chilies, tart citrus working against the roasted vegetables. Still crunchy and fresh tasting despite the depth of the roasted flavor. For 5 or so ingredients and about 15 minutes work, this is killer. I ate the entire plateful as lunch while I puttered around the kitchen working on a new soup recipe. One thing I didn’t do here that the original dish had, which was a nice touch, was a sprinkle of garlicky breadcrumbs – that added texture was really nice. You could toss some along with the listed ingredients and bake it along with the broccoli.
Roasted Broccoli with Chili and Lemon – serves 4 as a side dish
– Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, broccoli pieces, diced pepper and lemon zest – I used my hands here to make sure everything got evenly coated. Transfer to roomy baking/roasting dish or pan (you could also spread it out on a baking sheet) and bake for 6-7 minutes or until it starts to char a bit on the edges. Stir and change the positions of the broccoli so they cook on the opposite side and bake for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven, salt and pepper to taste and squeeze the zested lemon over the warm broccoli – doing this when it’s warm helps it all absorb the citrus juice. Serve immediately.