This may not seem like much, but tender stems of roasted broccolini combined with garlicky oil, lemon juice and red pepper flakes — all piled on toast — might be the platonic ideal of a simple dinner for one or two people. It comes together quickly, is filling and deeply satisfying, and doesn’t shy away from flavor.


1/4 cup sliced almonds

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed

2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly pressed

8 ounces broccolini

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more as needed

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 lemon

2 to 4 slices good-quality bread

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Step 1

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees; position the rack in the middle.

Meanwhile, in a dry medium pan over medium-high heat, toast the almonds, shaking the pan every so often, until they are golden brown with a few burned bits, about 7 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a small dish.

Step 2

Using the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and the garlic to the pan. Return the pan to the stove top and set it over low heat. Cook about 3 minutes to infuse the oil with the garlic.

Step 3

Spread the broccolini on a large, rimmed baking sheet and pour the garlic-infused oil over (transfer the garlic to a cutting board), shaking to coat the broccolini. Sprinkle with the salt, red pepper flakes and a generous grind of black pepper. Squeeze the lemon half over the broccolini and shake the pan again to distribute evenly.

Step 4

Roast for about 15 minutes, until the broccolini is tender but not soft and the fronds at the ends start to brown and get crispy.

Nestle the bread slices among the broccolini and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Return the sheet to the oven for 5 minutes more, then flip the toast over and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Roast for another 5 minutes, until the bread slices are warm and slightly toasted.

Step 5

Divide the toast between 2 plates. Slice the garlic cloves in half and rub the cut sides over the toast pieces. Pile the broccolini on the toast (you can also chop it into bite-size pieces), pouring over the garlicky oil if any remains on the sheet. (Otherwise, drizzle with more olive oil.) Squeeze the lemon half again, drizzling the juice over the broccolini, then add a pinch of the red pepper flakes, if desired. Top with the Parmesan, if using, and the toasted almonds and serve.

Adapted from “Midnight Chicken (& Other Recipes Worth Living For)” by Ella Risbridger (Bloomsbury, 2019).

Tested by Olga Massov. Email questions to food@washpost.com.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.


Calories: 440; Total Fat: 34 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Sodium: 860 mg; Carbohydrates: 26 g; Dietary Fiber: 5 g; Sugars: 1 g; Protein: 10 g.