52 weeks ago, a couple of trailblazing cooks launched a website called food52. The first of its kind, food52′s aim was to create a completely crowd-sourced cookbook within the span of a year.
Each week, the internet universe was invited to submit their best recipe for the proposed ingredient, dish or theme — for example Your Best Beets, Your Best Caesar Salad, or Your Best Use of Lemon, Thyme and a Grill. Amanda and Merrill (of NYT fame) would then shuffle through the entries, test them, and post two finalists for readers to vote on. All winning recipes will soon be published as a hardback cookbook.
As you can imagine, I’ve been quietly stalking this website all year trying out recipes here and there. I just love it when people figure out neat ways to adapt technology to make the old new again. Some of my most cherished cookbooks (I own over thirty) are spiral bound, single print run collections put together by a bunch of moms for a school or church fundraiser. The magic of food52 is that it captures this sense of “community’s best” on a grand and gourmet scale.
Of the dishes I’ve tried out over the past year, I think this simple recipe for Your Best Broccoli was an unexpectedly delicious surprise. Try it! Don’t worry, it tastes a million times better than my sad photo.
Roasted Bagna Cauda Broccoli
* 1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 anchovy fillets
* a splash of white wine
* a big squeeze of lemon, preferably Meyer
* Parmesan cheese, for dusting
* 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
* salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425. Arrange broccoli florets on a Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes and remove.
In a small skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and anchovy and saute for about three minutes. Add wine and lemon and allow to reduce for a minute or two. Season with black pepper if desired.
Meantime, in another small skillet over medium heat, toast almonds until they are lightly browned, taking care not to burn them.
Drizzle sauce and sprinkle almonds and parmesan cheese over broccoli, then serve. Or, dip the broccoli in the sauce at the table.