Paul and I put out a pretty good size garden in the summer. Last year a lot of it went into the freezer for the winter. The need to do something different with the broccoli we froze became a necessity for a least me tonight. Paul is quite happy eating steamed broccoli with spoonfuls of mayonnaise for a vegetable. Yes, you read that right, mayonnaise. I require a little variety, as in doing something different other than steaming it. Broccoli Gratin was exactly what I needed.
Every bite of this was pure delight. The white sauce, cheddar cheese and crumb topping gave me everything I love, flavor and textures. The white sauce and cheddar cheese together add creaminess and flavor while the crumb topping added a slight crunch. The broccoli is steamed for five minutes before the dish is constructed, I was happy after tasting the dish to find out it still had a nice texture and retained a good color after baking for 20 minutes in the oven.
After steaming the broccoli I cut the stalks right underneath the florets. I then separated the florets to make them small, I didn’t want big chunks of broccoli in the dish. The bite size pieces worked beautifully. There are several things you can do ahead of time to make putting this dish together a breeze. Grating the cheese, browning the bread crumbs and steaming the broccoli can all be done ahead of time.
To add a little variety ,do a combination of broccoli and cauliflower or substitute cauliflower for the broccoli altogether. This is one terrific way to serve broccoli, whether it be for dinner or a special occasion, you’ll love this dish! Enjoy!
- 3 Tablespoons plus 1 Tablespoon butter divided
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Black pepper to taste.
- 8 cups broccoli florets about 4 heads
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs panko bread crumbs can also be used
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Butter an 8x8 baking dish.
Steam the florets until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a skillet . Add the bread crumbs, stir the crumbs over medium -high heat until golden brown. Remove from the skillet. Set aside.
In a heavy metal saucepan melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the flour, whisk until smooth, cook for one minute. Add the milk and salt to the pan,bring the mixture to a boil while continuing to whisk. Reduce the heat, simmer and stir until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Remove from heat.
Place the florets in the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle half the grated cheese over the broccoli, Pour the sauce over the cheese and broccoli. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top. Spread the bread crumbs evenly over all.
Place your oven rack in the middle of the oven. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.