Using balsamic vinegar is one of my favourite little tricks in the kitchen because it adds some acidity and a touch of sweetness at the same time. I’ve used this trick in the slow cooker, in a vinaigrette (duh) and even as a glaze on pork chops. This recipe for balsamic roasted broccoli is a result of one of those experiments where I pull a bottle of balsamic vinegar from the cupboard and wondered what recipe I should try this time. Well, actually, now that I think about it, I can’t take full credit for this trick because it was my Dad who started using balsamic vinegar on roast chickens and vegetables, and ever since then I’ve been kind of obsessed with balsamic vinegar. So technically, I’m borrowing this idea from my Dad. He’s a smart man and he loves to cook too.
The city is kind of empty right now and when I say kind of, I mean about 90% of my friends are off travelling or studying abroad. Whether they’re off in England, Italy, South America, Australia or even in Quebec, everyone is off exploring the globe. I think it’s something that happens often between 3rd and 4th year of university because it’s really your last time to go off on an adventure without any sort of responsibility, and by that I mean, no full time job. It’s an exciting time! I kind of love this feeling of knowing that I still have one more year left in the comfort of my university, and time to figure out what I want to do after that. I also think the fact that I’ll be joining my globe-trotting pals at the end of July and August – a little European adventure is in the cards with my sister. But more on that later, I’ll definitely be bringing you all along for the fun.
Anyways, when it comes to vegetables I find that roasting them (or grilling in the summer) is the best way to eat them. Roasting brings out the sweetness in broccoli and the sugars in the balsamic vinegar helps to caramelize it. I added a few classic ingredients for roasted broccoli to this recipe, garlic makes everything better and a few chili flakes for some added spice. You can definitely leave out the chili flakes though if you aren’t a fan of spice. This recipe is so unbelievably simple and delicious, it’ll be part of your dinner rotation. While side dishes seem simple I find that picking the perfect side dish can be a little more complicated than you think. Also, they are often, somewhat lack-luster. I always try to create simple sides that are packed with flavour to accompany any main dish and that is exactly what this balsamic roasted broccoli is.
Here are a few other side dish ideas if you’re looking: