I've been dying to make oven roasted broccoli since I read about it on the Amateur Gourmet. Now I don't know why I waited! It is (as advertised) the best broccoli of your life. The better-than-sex-broccoli. Broccoli that children will eat. Broccoli that non-vegetable eaters will eat. Broccoli that George Bush would eat! (As if I cared.)
The original recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa, the Amateur Gourmet left out the basil and pine nuts, as did I. Read the directions here, as it is entertaining as well as helpful. Here are a few more modifications and/or screw-ups that I made, none of which ruined it at all.
You don't need nearly as much olive oil as the recipe calls for. It says five tablespoons; I'm sure I didn't use much more than a tablespoon drizzled around. And there's no need to add any more when it's done. (As for amount of broccoli, I had a big bag, I just kept throwing on florets until the cookie sheet was covered.)
I made the mistake of trying to roast it in the same oven, simultaneously, as sweet potato wedges. Wrong. First of all, the sweet potatoes have too much moisture, so everything gets soggier than it should. (But didn't matter. Still delicious.) Second, even if you start the sweet potatoes first, which I did by about 15 minutes, they take so long to bake that the broccoli is done first and you are at serious risk of eating it all before the sweet potatoes are done.* So do them first, if at all.
I didn't have any whole garlic cloves, so I used prechopped garlic in a jar. I just blobbed it on and kind of smeared it around. Kind of messy and my fingers smell like garlic, but it worked okay.
The one ingredient that you cannot omit under any circumstances is the lemon, which you grate the rind** and squeeze the juice onto the broccoli after it comes out of the oven. The lemon is the magic ingredient, I believe. It brightens up the broccoli and makes your tastebuds sing. Do not do without!
The final ingredient is the parmesan cheese that you grate onto the cooked broccoli. I don't think it's a deal breaker. If you must omit it, that's fine. However, I think everyone knows that everything is better with grated parmesan on it. If you grate your own, it's so fine that you can have a veritable mountain for only an ounce or so. I didn't buy parmesan, but I was lucky enough to find a rather dried up piece in the fridge, and that worked nicely.
Honestly, I can hardy wait to make this broccoli for everyone I know. Except—then I'd have to share! Oh, bad idea. I want it all to myself....
*I know this from personal experience.
**A micro grater is really helpful for this, as for the parmesan. I, unfortunately, left mine at Rod's house. But I used the small grate side of a box grater and it was relatively fine.