For The Crispiest Texture, You Should Be Smashing Broccoli

When you were a kid, did a side of broccoli feel like cruel and unusual punishment? Do you still eschew this vegetable with the same diligence you would use to avoid the Black Plague? Perhaps, you need to revisit this morsel of cruciferous, healthy goodness. After all, a PR Newswire press release shared that a Green Giant poll revealed that broccoli is the nation's most beloved veggie in 2022. Yes, many of your fellow citizens actually look forward to eating their broccoli. Why, then, are you repulsed by its very sight? Perhaps, it's the way you're cooking it. 

You may be making the big broccoli mistake that's causing you to miss out on its true flavor: boiling it. Author of "Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables," Laura B. Russell, explained to that by boiling broccoli, you are actually destroying its integrity, transforming it into a watery (and excessively odiferous) mess. Broccoli and water don't exactly get along, which explains why you never see broccoli in a can. Seriously. Elizabeth Rider agrees, rating boiling as the worst way to prepare broccoli (her three favorite methods are roasting, air-frying, and blanching). She explains that boiling leads to "soggy, limp florets" and that much of its nutritional benefits are lost in the water. 

Maybe, you would enjoy broccoli if it was crispy. After all, doesn't a little crunch make everything better? 

Smashing broccoli transforms its texture

As you gaze adoringly upon the picture above, you may be taken aback by just how yummy this crispy broccoli appears. Yes, this is a far cry from the pale green, soggy stuff mom used to make. 

So how do you achieve crispy broccoli? While The Kitchn credits a video by Tik Tok user, Alexa Kliman with creating this dish, Kliman actually says she borrowed the idea from a video by the Avocado Skillet's Kristi. Going to the original source is always a great idea, so here's how the Avocado Skillet goes about creating this dish. It's really quite simple. Boil your broccoli for a brief three minutes (not enough to make it mushy). While your oven is reaching 425 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the broccoli on the parchment and smash it somewhat flat with the bottom of a glass or jar or whatever works. Next, give it a generous drizzling of oil and sprinkle some "salt, pepper, and garlic powder" over top. Let it bake for about 25 to 35 minutes (or until it is as crispy as you'd like it). 

Imagine. No more soggy stocks. And no more veggies that smell like you have sewer issues. Just a healthy pan of crispy goodness that makes you wonder why you ever avoided broccoli. Now you're ready to dig into some broccoli recipes the whole family will eat up. Yay, broccoli.