Roasted Broccoli with Da Bomb Sauce

January 10, 2018


Are you East Coasters starting to thaw out yet? Mother Nature wasn’t kind to you folks. Heck, even Southerners got walloped this time around–Charleston, SC got five inches of white stuff last week, which gave me pause, because late this week, that’s exactly where the T. family is headed. I guess I should feel lucky, because the 7-day difference is working in our favor. It will still be a bit chillier than usual, but at least the city won’t be on lockdown.

The Minxes have never been anywhere in the southern part of the US, so they’re excited. Well, they’re mostly excited about being in fried chicken and biscuit territory, but that’s understandable. I get excited about those two foodstuffs, too. I was trying to explain to Miss M. the other day about the difference in dialect, vernacular and everyday speed of daily life that epitomizes “the southern way,” but I think she’s going to have to experience it to believe it.

“What do you mean, they talk and walk slower there?” she said.

“They just do, baby. You’ll see,” I said.

She scrunched her nose. “That will be weird. Especially for you. You’re the fastest walker and talker on the planet.”

She’s got a point there. What can I say? I’m a nervous small dog of a person, and we nervous small dogs move fast, dagnabbit.


I’m at the stage of travel planning called the “avoid the grocery store and stretch the scraps in the refrigerator” stage. It’s not my family’s favorite, because by the end of the week (in this case, Thursday evening) it’s slim pickings at The House of T.  Those girls will be lucky if there’s milk for their Thursday morning bowl of cereal. They may be forced to eat a rather questionable array of foods in the lunch box, too. Like a couple of cheese sticks, half a sleeve of Ritz crackers, a juice box and a lethargic looking apple. Maybe.

Early in the week, I decided to start whittling down the contents in the vegetable crisper. The carrots and celery went into a pot of clam chowder, but I still had some broccoli and a fat onion loafing around. I didn’t really have any meat that wasn’t frozen solid and I refused to wave the white flag and purchase something this late in the game.

What I settled on: this recipe for Roasted Broccoli with Brown Butter Fish Sauce. I somehow stretched it into a respectable dinner by serving it with rice and adorned with a poached egg. And you know what? It was a respectable dinner…actually, a very good dinner.

The secret to this dish is the bomba-licious brown butter sauce, toasty and nutty and enhanced with capers and funky fish sauce. You also roast the broccoli and onion until it’s damn near charred, which gives it a deep, rich flavor. You’re going to look at your pan of vegetables in the roasting pan and think, “I’m gonna catch Hell for burning the dang dinner.” But you didn’t burn it, you roasted it…a lot.

Not to worry. Bathe that pan of vegetables in that umami-laden, magical butter sauce and all will be forgiven.

This makes a delicious side dish next to roast chicken or a juicy chop. Alternatively, if you’re feeling vegetarian-ish (or cheap and Spartan, as my husband says), serve it as I did, over rice and topped with a lovely runny-cooked egg.

Even if you don’t have a plane to catch, or a refrigerator to clean out, it will make you quite pleased with yourself.


                                                        ^^No, bitch did not burn her broccoli. That’s char, people.


Roasted Broccoli with Brown Butter Fish Sauce

serves 4

slightly adapted from John Nguyen



1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets

1 medium to large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper

1/4 teaspoons chile flakes (optional)

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 tablespoon capers, drained

2-3 teaspoons fish sauce (if you want a truly vegetarian dish, jettison the fish sauce and use Tamari sauce instead. It’ll still be good)

black or regular sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 500. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli and red onion with olive oil. Spread in an even layer and season lightly with salt, pepper and chile flakes, if using. Roast, without turning, until the broccoli is just knife-tender and browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt the butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter browns and smells nutty, about 6 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat, back up a little from the skillet and stir in the capers and fish sauce. **I’m tellin’ you, back up! Give that skillet a little breathing room! It will splatter alarmingly at first.**

Drizzle the butter mixture over the broccoli/onions. Serve over rice, if desired. To make this a meal, slap an egg on it!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kel January 10, 2018 at 6:28 pm

Hope you guys have an amazing time! Charleston is a mecca for me – as a pseudo-foodie and a photographer, it is the ideal city. Walk along the Battery and see the old houses. Check out the architecture on the churches. And dude…abandon all hope of calorie counting. Enjoy!


Dana Talusani January 18, 2018 at 12:55 pm


I had to be very, very careful because since I got my gall bladder out, rich food makes me sick! Let’s just say that I ate a LOT of oysters.


Kel January 18, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Yeah, when I first had mine out spicy and fried stuff did that to me. It got better over the years, but I’m still relatively careful about balancing the indulgent with the healthy. =) Hopefully that will ease off for you as well! I’m glad you got some good oysters, though — especially ones that aren’t Rocky Mountain based. :D


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