I like so many different things in life; I like to have tea on my terrace while the birds are singing and the people on the streets are yelling (gotta love NY). I like to find a spot in yoga class which is far enough away from the smelly man who says his “om” with a bear-like grunt.
However, one of the things that I like most of all is to make meaty tasting meals, without the actual meat. I like to stretch a little bit of meat by adding other hearty, smoky flavors.
One of my favorite ingredients I use to do this is roasted garlic; it creates a deep rich flavor that is very different from fresh garlic.
And my favorite technique to impart meaty flavor is roasting; when you roast any veggie, especially broccoli, you get a smoky layer of flavor while also caramelizing any sugars, making it sweet.
This dish combines roasted garlic and smoky roasted broccoli to create an amazing dish that is complex and hearty. When my husband says things like “Now THAT’S good” or “Is there meat in here?” I know that I am accomplishing my goal of meaty flavors without the meat.
The best part about this dish? Besides the baking time, these Roasted Garlic and Broccoli Pitas are so quick and easy to make, it will give you plenty of time to watch 5 episodes of Nashville in row (even though you’ll only admit to seeing 1).
Roasted Garlic + Broccoli Pita
Makes 8 triangles
1 head roasted garlic (How To Roast Garlic)
½ head broccoli
½ small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
7 inch pita bread
¼ cup gruyere, 1 ounce
- Roast the head of garlic (How To Roast Garlic), while garlic is cooking prepare the broccoli and onion. When garlic is done and cool enough to handle squeeze out the cloves and mash with a fork.
- Place broccoli and onion in food processor, pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Heat oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli mixture and salt, stirring only occasionally until slightly charred and tender – about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, stir to combine then remove skillet from the heat.
- To assemble the pitas, spread the roasted garlic on the pita. Top with broccoli, then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted – 3 to 5 minutes. Cut into 8 triangles and serve immediately.
Keep it Simple: I love gruyere because it’s nutty and melts great, but it can be a bit pricy. A combination of mozzarella and parmesan works great as a substitute or swiss, harvati and even cheddar are also good choices.
Make it Meaty: Adding a little cooked and chopped pancetta or bacon to the broccoli adds a nice salty kick.