Brown Butter Broccoli with Red Quinoa & Brown Rice

If you are ready for a teeny tiny cheat on your January diet...

... then this is a good start.

And, besides, I figure if you are sitting down to a big ol' bowl of broccoli, quinoa and brown rice, you deserve a little butter.

a bowl of broccoli, rice and quinoa
a bowl of broccoli, rice and quinoa

This is a very simple, quick recipe that I only decided to share here for two reasons... roasted broccoli and brown butter.

I urge you to try both.

Separately or together.

Win win either way.

First up, roasting the broccoli. Growing up, broccoli was boiled. (followed by a cheese sauce bath usually).  Palatable.   Then, at some point, steaming it was the way to go. The beautiful bright colour definitely upped the  palatability factor.  Roasting - a new level. I have sung the praises of roasted veggies before, but truthfully hadn't done so with the green trees.  I won't be going back.  The ends get all caramelized and nutty and I think you can manage degree of doneness better. I like my cooked veggies with a bit of crunch usually but someone recommended overcooking (via roasting) broccoli just a bit. They were spot on.

a bowl of broccoli, rice and quinoa
a bowl of broccoli, rice and quinoa

The nice part of roasting broccoli is that off-putting smell of cooked "cabbage" is greatly reduced.  That is my lead in to the second reason this dish ended up here. There is no better way to mask cooked broccoli smell then by browning butter.

I have heard and seen "brown butter" for a while now but it was only in the last year that I welcomed it to my kitchen.  And even then, it was only in the sense of sweet treats - cookies and squares and the like.  It really is quite simple to make and can really transform a dish.  It takes on this nutty aroma that is just that much better then butter... and butter is pretty good on its own.

a bowl of broccoli, rice and quinoa
a bowl of broccoli, rice and quinoa

Browning butter is not hard, but the various stages happen quickly. I have tossed a few batches (if you go past the sweet spot there is no turning back - unless you are making beurre noir and if you are, you are probably not reading this blog)  Elise at Simply Recipes and Jessica at How Sweet Eats both offer up great pictorial lessons in how its done.  It works in so many places - tossed in pasta, over any roasted vegs, fish, cookies & cakes.

So this weekend brown your butter or roast your broccoli or get crazy...

a bowl of broccoli, rice and quinoa
a bowl of broccoli, rice and quinoa

... and do both.


Brown Butter Broccoli with Quinoa Brown Rice Pilaf


Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Total time: 55 mins

Serves: 4

The key to this simple & quick dish is roasting the broccoli and browning the butter.


  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 large head broccoli, cleaned, trees & stems cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta


  1. Prepare quinoa & brown rice according to package directions.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Toss broccoli in olive oil and place on a rimmed cooking sheet. Sprinkle with slivers of garlic. Top with salt and pepper. Roast about 15 - 20 minutes until ends start to caramelize. (taste testing for doneness is encouraged).
  4. While broccoli is roasting, heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, start whisking and rarely stop. The butter will eventually go to a puce/army greenish colour (not ready yet) and then you will start to see brown bits form on the bottom. You are seconds away at this point. Keep whisking another 30 seconds to 1 minute until it starts to go brown and you can smell a nutty aroma. Remove from heat immediately at this point. Keep whisking as it cools down for about 1 minute. Set aside.
  5. In a large serving bowl, combine cooked rice, quinoa, broccoli & toss with brown butter.
  6. Sprinkle with feta and enjoy.