Versatile roasted broccoli is a flavorful side dish or main course for spring

The warm weather, daylight saving time and dry ground have really encouraged outdoor cooking and after-dinner trampoline sessions at my house.

I love the change spring brings. Meals are already getting lighter, with less prep because, well, I am not in the kitchen as much as during the winter months.

I am so thankful that my kids all eat vegetables because there certainly are nights when salad is our dinner. Recently, I got my kids to help me toss together a simple vegetable dish that is extremely versatile and delicious.

Like our regular salads, I am lucky my kids all like broccoli, too. That is an easy one. Most kids like broccoli, dont they?

Emma, 11, cut the broccoli. She really is mastering her knife skills, and I no longer cringe when I hand her a knife.

Molly, 9, had a difficult job, trying to zest some lemons. I had to help with that one.

Clay, 7, peeled the garlic, which kept him busy until the cloves got kind of sticky and the papery skin started to stick to his fingers. He got a little frustrated and lost interest before too long.

I sliced the garlic as thin as possible. We tossed the broccoli with olive oil, the sliced garlic, salt and pepper then spread it on a sheet pan in a single layer. After the broccoli roasted in a hot oven for about 20 minutes, we mixed in the lemon zest and parmesan and it was done.

We had it as a side dish, but it would be great with pasta or just for snacking. My kids took some in their lunch boxes the next day.

This is a really easy recipe that kids can make. They can brag about their ability to make something healthy that really tastes good. Try this recipe with your gang and enjoy some highly seasoned broccoli.

mpoitras@discoveryspeed.com. Margery Reed Poitras is a former professional chef who now cooks for her kids and occasionally for the more mature palate.

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