The Oil Mistake You're Making When Roasting Broccoli

Roasted broccoli on sheet pan
Roasted broccoli on sheet pan - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Broccoli can get a bad rap — even former President George H.W. Bush famously spoke about his dislike of the vegetable. But like many maligned veggies, inexperienced home cooks often prepare it the wrong way, understandably leading to unpleasant results. While any roasting recipe is miles ahead of old-school methods like boiling, many are still making a critical mistake involving the oil they use.

Many season their broccoli, place it in the roasting pan or on the baking sheet, and then drizzle it with oil. But oiling your veggies like this (or worse, oiling the cooking vessel directly) can lead to pools collecting on the pan that can burn or smoke at the high temperatures needed to properly roast broccoli. It also risks unevenly cooking your broccoli pieces.

Fortunately, there's a better way to go about this process. Oil your broccoli directly, ideally in a large mixing bowl that allows you to comfortably toss the quantity you're using. This will also help ensure any other seasonings are evenly distributed. Mashed's roasted broccoli recipe goes a step further, with chef Maren Epstein recommending you give your broccoli pieces a gentle massage as you integrate the oil, which can also improve their texture by helping break down some of the tougher parts.

Read more: Mistakes You're Making With Your Corn On The Cob

More Tips For Perfect Broccoli

Hands separating broccoli florets
Hands separating broccoli florets - Anastasia Dobrusina/Getty Images

If your recipe requires oiling the broccoli on the pan (like this crispy roasted parmesan broccoli), ensure you only use as much as necessary and that it's evenly spread out before roasting. But don't skimp, either, as oil or other fats are necessary to properly break down the tough raw broccoli and help it develop the ideal flavor. It's all about finding that happy medium.

Of course, this isn't the only common mistake everyone makes with broccoli. One of the most critical missteps is failing to store it correctly, unwashed in your refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag or container that allows adequate airflow. Other frequent mishaps include under-seasoning or overcooking it. While all of these can result in less desirable flavor or texture, they're all relatively easy to avoid.

So, keep a close eye on your oil the next time you're firing up the oven for a delicious roasted broccoli side. This small tweak can pay big dividends when the veggies hit your plate.

Read the original article on Mashed