Roasted Broccoli and Egg Skillet

These past couple weeks have been long ones, dear readers.  I've been trying to think of something witty to write for you all day, and I tried for the molè post as well.  I even tried to make granola bars on Friday, but I seem to be incapable even of baking, since I meddled too much with the ingredients and overworked the crust in my impatience.  Perhaps, now that I've let off some steam this weekend, and have gotten a chance to come up for air, I will be able to bake and write well again.  A sparkle of creativity this morning, however, yielded this post, which I wanted to share with you.  It's more of a suggestion or a source of inspiration than a recipe, but I think it's worth posting.

On Friday night, I made whole wheat peanut noodles with broccoli, bean sprouts, and snow peas.  I didn't share with you, since I'm still perfecting my peanut sauce, and I want it to be the best it can be before I tell you about it.  I used the broccoli florets, draining the cooked pasta over them in a colander to blanch them only slightly, and I was pleased with the barely soft exterior and brightened flavor.  I was left, however, with an abundance of broccoli stalks.  For some reason, the broccoli I find at the local grocery store, Hyde Park Produce, has much longer, thinner stalks than the broccoli I've found elsewhere.  But this is not at all a problem for me, since I like the stalks even better than florets.  This may be surprising to you, since it's a generally accepted practice simply to throw away these gems in favor of the more popular florets.  You will be pleased to know that broccoli stalks are just as edible, and perhaps even more delicious.  Just cut off the bottoms and make one pass over the top-most layer of skin with a vegetable peeler, and you have a rejuvinated vegetable with all the sweet, grassy flavors characteristic of broccoli, with a unique crunch and distinctive nutty undertones.

So for breakfast this morning, I made use of this superior vegetable, tossing little medallions of broccoli stalk with olive oil, salt, crushed red pepper, and dried thyme.  If I'd had fresh herbs on hand, I definitely would've used them.  Feel free to use whatever herbs are your favorites.  Having spread them out onto a cast iron skillet, I popped them in a piping hot oven to roast.  After roasting for a few minutes, I added in sliced almonds, and let them toast as well.  Then just make a little well for each egg, crack it into the pan, and sprinkle with shredded cheese.  I used a sweet and nutty, yet mild cheese, but I'm not sure what variety it was in particular, having already discarded the package - if you remember my post about cheese, yes, I'm still trying to get through it all.  Let the eggs cook and the cheese melt, and you've got a skillet full of yummy, dare-I-say-healthy breakfast.


Roasted Broccoli and Egg Skillet, for me myself and I
these measurements are approximate - feel free to experiment

5 long, thin broccoli stems
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 sprinkle sea salt
1 pinch of dried thyme, crushed between your fingers
1 handful sliced almonds
2 eggs
1 handful nutty shredded cheese of choice

Preheat your oven to 450° F.  Clean the broccoli stalks by trimming off the very ends and peeling just the outer layer of skin with a vegetable peeler.  Slice into medallions, then toss with olive oil and seasonings.  Spread in an even layer over the cast iron skillet, then roast in the oven for ~3 minutes.  Sprinkle on the almonds, then roast for another ~3 minutes. 

Once the almonds have gained a lightly golden-brown color and you can smell the broccoli from the oven, remove the pan and stir the almonds into the broccoli.  Make as many wells as you have eggs, crack your eggs into the cleared space, and sprinkle over the cheese.  Return to the oven ~3 minutes until the egg whites have set and the cheese is melted.  Remove from the oven, and devour without burning your hand on the pan or your tongue on your piping hot breakfast.

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