Have you tried hemp seeds yet? They are a staple in my kitchen! Touted for their health benefits (just 3 tablespoons of these guys will give you a walloping 10 grams of protein and they also happen to contain nearly the perfect ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6), these little seeds are great in salads, soups, and sauces. They are also a wonderful vegan creamifier. (Yes, I think I made that word up because it’s not in the dictionary.) In case it’s not apparent, let me define it for you:
Creamifier, n. A substance that can be used to make something creamy. Example Sentence: Some non-vegan creamifiers are milk, yogurt, and sour cream, while some vegan creamifiers are hemp seeds, tofu, tahini, and nuts.
Now that we’ve all learned a new (fake) word, let me tell you about this dressing.
You know those days when you really don’t feel like cooking but you really do feel like eating something home-cooked instead of ordering in? This dish was invented on one of those lazy days. Since standing by the stove watching something cook felt like too much work, I popped some broccoli florets in the oven to roast and then threw some random ingredients into a blender without too much thought. I wanted a creamy sauce so I used two vegan creamifiers (hemp seeds and just a touch of tahini), a bit of lemon, salt for seasoning, and then some hot water to help it blend up.
Lo and behold, the blender gods worked their magic and, when I opened up the blender, I had a perfectly seasoned, rich, luscious sauce that tasted like it was born to be eaten on top of roasted broccoli! (Which it was…because I invented it for my broccoli…) But anyway. My point is that sometimes simple trumps all. You’ll understand when you eat this.
A couple notes about the recipe:
-I didn’t see a point specifying the quantity of roasted broccoli, since you can make as much or as little as you want. The dressing yields a scant 1/2 cup, so if you’re making a TON of broccoli, you can always double the dressing recipe. When I make this for myself, I usually purchase 1¼ pounds of broccoli (this weight was taken before I cut the florets and discarded the stems) and I use about ¼ cup of dressing to coat my florets. As a side dish, this amount serves 1-2 people.
-Reserve your broccoli stems for later use! You can also boil them until tender and then mix them in with the florets and dressing.
Roasted Broccoli with Creamy Hemp Seed Dressing
- Broccoli florets
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon tahini
- 2 pinches celtic sea salt
- ¼ cup boiling water
1. Roast the Broccoli
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the broccoli florets, a generous drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt in a bowl and stir until broccoli is well-coated. Spread oiled florets in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet tray and roast in your preheated 400° oven for about 18 minutes. When done, the broccoli will be cooked but pleasantly crunchy and have some beautiful golden brown patches.
2. Make the Dressing (Do this while the broccoli is roasting!)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
Place the broccoli in a bowl or small serving dish and drizzle your desired amount of dressing over the top. Enjoy!