really trying April 13, 2011

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

  • 1 pound fresh broccoli – about 2 medium sized crowns – woody stems removed and roughly chopped into florets
  • 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 1 large long red chili pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped into 1/4″ pieces- I used a Mesilla pepper but you could also use 1-2 Thai red chilies
  • zest of one large lemon – save the lemon to juice at the end
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon

– 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.


Lynn Apr 13, 2011 09:04 am

I adore broccoli and eat it almost every day – thanks for this recipe. I will try it!

Hang in there – it’s incredible how crazy life can get, isn’t it?

bianca Apr 13, 2011 09:04 am

Life can be so crazy some days, but all it takes is a little break to reconfirm how lucky we all are!

Lovely post, broccoli is one of my faves!

Trish Apr 13, 2011 05:04 pm

Sometimes you have to get off the merry-go-round and smell the roses. I think this is an old saying, but the thought of physically doing this sounds tres excellent!
Love to the broccoli.
Miss T

Maris (In Good Taste) Apr 13, 2011 06:04 pm

One of the power foods and this is a great recipe.

Alexandria Apr 13, 2011 09:04 pm

Very tasty…powerful lemon flavor!

Trudy ~ Veggie num num Apr 13, 2011 10:04 pm

mmmmm roast broccoli… perfect with the simple addition of lemon & chilli, two things I seriously couldn’t do without in the kitchen… it’s the busy and trying times that make the stillness and calm moments all the more sweeter right!! Beautiful recipe!!

SMITH BITES Apr 14, 2011 07:04 am

jobs are never as glamorous as they seem . . . ever. and while i might fantasize about being a food stylist, i think i’m going to leave that to those of you who really do it well. i hope you get a few moments to just breathe and enjoy this beautiful broccoli dish!!

The Teacher Cooks Apr 14, 2011 10:04 am

I love roasted broccoli and with the addition of the Mesilla wow that’s got to be good!

Allison Apr 15, 2011 04:04 pm

Mmmm sounds really yummy. I’m glad I’m not the only one out there who loves broccoli! I used to think I was a little strange for craving it.

merry jennifer Apr 15, 2011 06:04 pm

I hope your week has settled down a bit. You deserve some quality time in the new place – time to just get adjusted and…be.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with broccoli over the course of my life, but I’m in a love phase right now. I’d love to try this recipe…must find some peppers.

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen Apr 17, 2011 11:04 am

Every job looks glamorous from the outside. But no job can be glamorous can it be? This looks fantastic. I can imagine the flavors work great togther!

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