Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Roasted Broccoli With Mojo Sauce

This is a simple but absolutely delicious dish that can be served as a first course or starter. It is also fabulous served as a side dish; I love to serve it with pasta dishes. When Tina made this recipe, we devoured every piece in record time. She lovingly massaged the freshly chopped garlic and oil onto the broccoli spears to make sure every piece was properly coated and broiled them. But broiling is lots of work as one has to to constantly turn the food to cook evenly and keep an eagle eye out to make sure food does not burn. In the interest of time (and work), I make it with a little shortcut - just roast the broccoli and then coat it with a garlic oil sauce. I could not resist adding a pinch of ground red pepper (cayenne) to the garlic sauce almost at the end of cooking. Spectacular!

Although I have been making wok-roasted veggies like this for a long time, did not know that the garlic sauce had a fancy name like mojo. Much to my surprise I found that apparently Spanish cuisine has a mojo sauce which is made the same way I do! They call it "mojo de ajo" translated as garlic sauce :D. When I checked it on line, (no surprise :-}) I saw that other cuisines influenced by the Spanish also have mojo sauce. If there is any extra sauce, it can be saved in the refrigerator and used for flavoring almost anything from casseroles, soups and sauces to other roasted or sauteed veggies.

Amma made a delicious garlic sauce that we used on everything from pasta to pizzas - in fact we never served pizza without it. Many are the jars of garlic sauce that Amma prepared for doggie bags and care packages as no one left the house without a jar or two once they tasted it.


1 bunch Broccoli, about 1.5 lbs
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves fresh Garlic
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
Fresh Lime/Lemon (optional)


Prepare the broccoli for roasting: Trim the stems ends a bit and separate into slim florets with long stems; peel the fibrous skins off the stems as they will take a much longer time to soften and become tender by which time the rest of the broccoli will be mush.

Place the broccoli with a teaspoon or two of the oil and a sprinkling of salt in a rimmed baking pan; shake to coat well.

Roast in a hot oven (400 - 425 degrees F) turning them over a few times to cook evenly until the broccoli is tender. Alternately, you may broil them or stir-cook them in a wok.

Prepare the mojo sauce:

Finely chop the garlic.

Heat the oil in a small pan and when hot, add the garlic with a pinch of salt.

Cook, stirring until garlic starts to color and becomes fragrant.

Stir in red pepper and remove from heat.

When Broccoli is cooked, stir in the garlic sauce, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper & the lemon/lime juice if using.

Serve immediately. The acid in the lime juice will discolor the broccoli if left standing.

Serve warm. Enjoy!!

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