If you like broccoli, great! But… if you say you don’t like it or you have a sceptic nearby, I promise that this Roasted Broccoli with Serrano Ham Toasted Breadcrumbs recipe will change minds (or well, at least I try to convince you that broccoli doesn’t need to be horrible XD). For starters, roasted broccoli is nothing like boiled broccoli. It has an al dente texture and gets super crispy on the outside. The flavour, definitely much better! The oven always gives vegetables that unique touch. To make it even better, it has a breadcrumbs topping that you will want to toss all your veggies with. Besides adding a crunchy touch, the ham in it goes so well with broccoli!
How to Roast Broccoli to Perfection
Roasted broccoli is a quick and healthy side dish. I know that broccoli is a vegetable that has many haters, but I promise that the oven changes things! In order to get broccoli that’s cooked al dente and that’s crispy on the outside – cause soft broccoli is what people tend to despise -, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Cut the broccoli into even pieces. The cut florets should have a similar size, not too big (sometimes there are florets the size of a mandarine), not too small (like a broad bean). The ideal size for me is like a shelled-walnut (or a little bigger). The bigger they are, the longer they need in the oven and in the end there is less roasted surface in proportion to the amount of broccoli. If they are too small, they can burn easily and, jokes aside, it’s hard to prick them with the fork XD. On the other hand, in this recipe we also take advantage of the tender part of the stem, which always needs a bit longer in the oven than the green part, another reason why we don’t want small florets either.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the broccoli, without falling short, but as I always say, you don’t need to make a an oil pool either (olive oil is not precisely cheap). The olive oil not only helps with the roasting, but it also provides an incredible flavour.
- Don’t crowd the baking sheet. When we bake vegetables in general, as they roast, they release steam. If they are very close to each other, this steam cooks the neighbouring vegetables without letting them roast. For this reason, it is important to bake the cut broccoli in a large tray so that the florets do not pile up and so they get those crispy edges. If the florets are overlapping with some little pieces of stem, this is not a biggy, the important thing is that the florets do not overlap each other.
- Bake the broccoli at a high temperature, you’ll see that the recipe calls for 220ºC. This is because a high temperature allows the broccoli to cook quickly while getting roasted at the same time. The lower the temperature is, the longer the broccoli needs to get cooked, preventing it from getting that golden colour that turns broccoli into something really delicious.
Serrano Ham Toasted Breadcrumbs with Almonds
This topping is inspired by the classic Italian pangrattato (which would translate into toasted breadcrumbs), but I have made this recipe a bit more Spanish using Serrano ham and almonds, which are a very typical nut in my region. Saying that this Serrano Ham Toasted Breadcrumbs with Almonds is scrumptious is an understatement. Seriously, you will want to add it to so many dishes! For example, besides having it with vegetables, I love to eat it with French omelettes or creamy pasta dishes.
The bread I used is ciabatta but you can use whatever you have on hand. The important thing is that in the end, you have some breadcrumbs left with slightly larger pieces of bread so that when you bite into it, its crunchiness contrasts with the texture of the broccoli.
Do you have leftover Roasted Broccoli with Serrano Ham Toasted Breadcrumbs?
You can definitely store it and eat it another day, but keep in mind that the texture will not be exactly the same.
Store ¡n the fridge: Store the broccoli in an airtight container and the toasted breadcrumbs in a jar. Once cool, store them in the fridge. The broccoli lasts well for about 5 days, and the breadcrumbs will be ok for days.
How to reheat it: If you have the oven on, you can use it to reheat both the breadcrumbs and the broccoli in it. This will allow them to get that crunchy touch back. If you don’t have the oven on, then I recommend that you reheat them in a very hot pan, first the breadcrumbs and then the broccoli (we don’t want to wash 2 pans right? 😉 ). Reheating them in a steaming hot pan will crisp them up and not cook them further. By the way, it’s not critical to reheat the breadcrumbs, since they tend to keep the crunch quite well.
What I wouldn’t recommend is using the microwave if you have a choice (if we have a packed lunch for work, for example, probably there’s no other way to go), since it works in such a way that it heats the water existing inside the food through its microwaves. Consequently, using the microwave would sort of steam the broccoli, preventing it from getting any crispy.
Ways to Use Roasted Broccoli
In order to have a full meal, you can use it to accompany some type of protein, be it meat or fish. In the case of fish, a mild white fish or salmon would combine so well with this roasted broccoli recipe, not only with the broccoli as such but also with the topping of ham and almond crumbs.
It also works great to accompany eggs, be it omelette, poached, fried… You name it :). In short, you can make this roasted broccoli recipe to accompany a thousand different dishes.
More Easy Veggie Side Dishes
If you make this Roasted Broccoli with Serrano Ham Toasted Breadcrumbs recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Roasted Broccoli with Serrano Ham Toasted Breadcrumbs
- 1 head of broccoli
- 3 slices Serrano ham
- 60 g bread - ciabatta, peasant, baguette, etc… (I used ciabatta), cut into cubes
- 15 g almonds - raw and skin-off
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
- Chili flakes - optional
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC no fan (200ºC fan assisted).
- Cut the broccoli florets into slightly larger shelled-walnut-sized pieces. Cut the tender part of the stem into slices about 3 mm thick.
- Arrange the broccoli on a baking tray large enough so that the pieces do not overlap. Season with salt and black pepper, add drizzle with oil. Optionally sprinkle some chili flakes to taste. Mix well so that the broccoli is well smeared. Bake for 30 minutes, or until you see that the florets are golden and toasted.
- While the broccoli is in the oven, on another tray, place the ham, almonds and bread cubes. Season the bread with a little salt and drizzle some olive oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the bread is crunchy, the almonds are toasted and the ham is crispy.
- Crush the almonds with three quarters of the ham and half of the bread. I do it in a mortar because it is a small amount of crumbs, but you can also use a food processor. We will use the rest of the ham and bread to garnish at the end.
- Remove the broccoli from the oven. Serve it on a plate, sprinkle the toasted breadcrumbs on top and garnish with the remaining bread and the ham, roughly chopped. Enjoy!
- Store in the fridge: Store the broccoli in an airtight container and the toasted breadcrumbs in a jar. Once cool, store them in the fridge. The broccoli lasts well for about 5 days, and the breadcrumbs will be ok for days.
- How to reheat it:
- If you have the oven on, you can use it to reheat both the breadcrumbs and the broccoli in it.
- If you don’t have the oven on, then I recommend that you reheat them in a very hot pan, first the breadcrumbs and then the broccoli.
- What I wouldn’t recommend is using the microwave since it would sort of steam the broccoli, preventing it from getting any crispy.
- By the way, it’s not critical to reheat the breadcrumbs, since they tend to keep the crunch quite well.