After a week of recipes like Tuesdays With Dorie Croissants and the Pioneer Women’s Cinnamon Rolls I knew I better end on a healthy note or my faithful reader-son Cory, will definitely disown me! Enter a lovely bag of fresh broccoli. I love broccoli. I think it just may be my favorite vegetable, as an adult. As a child the only vegetable I would eat was green beans. But when I was about 45 I grew up and started eating other vegetables. Today my favorite — broccoli!
In the culinary arts, the term au gratin refers to a dish that is baked with a topping of seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese. The au gratin topping should be golden brown, which can be achieved by baking or by placing the dish under a broiler. Au gratin — a perfect way to serve broccoli!! Broccoli is a delicious side dish to so many meats and main dishes. I started this colorful gratin by steaming the broccoli in the microwave. I like baking in a cast iron skillet but you can also use your favorite baking dish or casserole dish.
While the broccoli is steaming in the microwave I made a cheesy white sauce, reserving a bit of the cheese to sprinkle on the hot broccoli.
The cheesy white sauce is poured over the broccoli.
I adore Panko bread crumbs so I used a handful to make up the crunchy topping. The gratin is baked until lightly browned and bubbly.
The nice part about using a cast iron skillet is it makes a fun serving dish as well. From the oven to the table.
I adapted this recipe from Food Network Kitchens. It is a keeper for me. It can easily be made and on the table in less than an hour while finishing up any main dish.
We like our broccoli tender-crisp and not mushy. This recipe is easy to make without over-baking the broccoli.
What is your favorite broccoli recipe? Please do-tell, I am always looking for tried and true recipes for this yummy vegetable!
Broccoli au Gratin
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups milk (2% or whole)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds broccoli (about 4 heads), cut into small florets (about 8 cups)
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
- 1 cup grated sharp and colby cheese, divided in half
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Spray canola oil in a 9" round cast iron skillet or 8" x 8" x 2" baking dish.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the milk, sharp cheddar cheese and salt and bring to a low simmer while whisking constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the white sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, place the broccoli in a glass microwaveable dish and add ¼ cup water. Cover with microwaveable lid or plastic wrap. Microwave for 3 minutes. Drain off water.
- Put the steamed broccoli in the prepared dish, sprinkle with the ½ cup sharp and colby cheese. Pour on the sauce. Sprinkle with remaining sharp and colby mixture.
- Cover the gratin with the Panko bread crumbs. Bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchens.