For The Best Roast Broccoli, Give It A Smash

Anyone else remember what a struggle it was to pick through the mound of unappetizing green vegetables parents would heap on our plates as kids? Whether we were served steamed kale, soggy rounds of zucchini, or even a bowl of crunchy salad, the vegetables just seemed way less interesting than more kid-friendly side dishes such as creamy mac and cheese or buttery mashed potatoes.

Children and veggies just don't seem to jive all that well, but more than any other vegetable, kids' ultimate nemesis seems to be broccoli. Whether it's steamed, boiled, or sautéed, younguns will tend to pick around these "green trees" and avoid eating them. Luckily, as adults, most of us have come around to the simple pleasures offered by sweet, fairly neutral-tasting broccoli, whether it's charred in a cast iron pan and tossed with a Thai-inspired dressing, or mixed with creamy Greek yogurt for a bright, fresh salad.

Perhaps the tastiest way to enjoy broccoli is roasted, its edges going all brown and crisp. And if you love roasted broccoli and want to kick it up a few notches, you should try smashing it.

Smashing parcooked broccoli and then continuing to roast it produces extra-crispy results

Have you ever noticed there's something of a trend of smashing vegetables? There's the now-classic technique of parboiling whole potatoes, smashing them with a glass, then tossing them with oil and roasting until crisp and lacy-edged; There's the method of smashing rings of Persian cucumbers with the flat edge of a chef's knife, enabling them to soak up more tasty dressing; And you can also smash Brussels sprouts, according to EatingWell, upping their crunch factor.

It makes sense, then, that smashing could also make broccoli more delicious, as it does in the case of roasted broccoli, according to Kitchn. As the outlet notes, it's hard to think of a tastier way to enjoy the green veg than tossed in oil and salt and roasted at a high temp, but smashing florets with a drinking glass or jar after they've been roasting for about five minutes makes them even more delicious. Once returned to the heat of the oven, the increased surface area of the broccoli and the thinner parts that have been smashed crisp up even more when they come into contact with the hot sheet pan, creating browner, crunchier broccoli that even a kid couldn't turn down.