Thursday, July 5, 2012


One of the most amusing responses to the Supreme Court's decision in the health care case last week was Adam Gopnik's. Part of the questioning in the case, you may recall, involved a hypothetical government mandate that Americans purchase broccoli.

Justice Ginsburg's opinion notes the ridiculousness of such a comparison, and Justice Roberts's also mentions the issue. Underlying all of the discussion, Gopnik notes, is the assumption that broccoli is disgusting. 

Gopnik thus comes to a remarkable conclusion: "nobody on the Supreme Court knows how to cook broccoli."

I've never been a huge fan of broccoli, though I'll choke it down from time to time. I was intrigued by Gopnik's bold assertion:

The truth is that broccoli should always be either roasted or pureed, in the French style, and is so delicious done either way that, if you tasted it, you would not just tolerate but demand government-mandated broccoli.

So I decided to use Gopnik's recipe for roasted broccoli last night: sliced red onion, curry, salt, and olive oil, at 450 degrees for twenty minutes.

The verdict?

I don't think I'd demand a government mandate, but it was still the best broccoli I've ever eaten.


Cowe, Mista said...

Can't wait to try this.
Thanks for the tip, framiko/gopnik/supreme court!

framiko said...

One thing I'll do differently next time is place all the florets head up, so that the little buds collect the oil and salt and curry more effectively.

Elizabeth said...

Yep! Gopnik is right. I hadn't roasted broccoli until a few years ago, but now there is no going back. When I read this piece last week, I thought, "well, I know he's right about the roasting, so I guess I need to try this puree he describes." Let me know if you get to that first, Frank.

Dave Mouldon said...

my famous roasted veggie recipe is pretty darn good too.

Toss baby carrots, sliced zucchini, sliced yellow squash, broccoli flowerets, sliced red peppers and onion in a generous amount of olive oil.Spread out on baking sheet (the kind with the ledge around it) lined with aluminum foil. Sprinke with Greek seasoning (I use only the custom blend from the Spice Shop in Old town St. Charles, some garlic powder and lots of fresh ground pepper. Cook for about half an hour at 400 degrees. We make a meal out of this. BTW - The Spice Shop is run by the grandfather of SLUH alum John Urbanowicz.

Rich said...

Glad I checked the comments before sending this intriguing information to Elizabeth. I was a little surprised to see this claim about the benefit of roasting broccoli. Although I'm a major proponent of roasting broccoli's white-guy cousin, cauliflower, I had not thought that broccoli would profit from roasting. Indeed perhaps, I suppose the profit goeth not to the broccoli but to those who eat it.