We all know cauliflower cheese, right?! The lovely side dish almost mandatory at any British Sunday lunch.
Now just substitute the cauliflower with broccoli. Why? Well, mainly because then I can eat it. My stomach rules my life and has decided cauliflower is out of the question. Obviously I obey, as it’s pretty painful not to.
But, I also discovered that using broccoli instead of cauliflower made the whole dish a lot lighter, even though the brassica is more or less covered with a heavy and delicious cheese sauce. And, served on it’s own with either some wild garlic bread, a few slices of prosciutto or a salad to make it more of a meal, it’s a perfect summer supper. Satisfying, healthy-ish (thanks Bon Appetit for coining this term) and lovely.
Broccoli cheese, serves 2 as a main course
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s excellent cauliflower cheese recipe.
2 medium heads broccoli
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp Coleman’s mustard powder
salt and black pepper
475 ml milk, whole milk or semi-skimmed
155 g grated strong cheddar
Pre-heat oven to 200C. Trim broccoli and remove the core. Cut into 1 to 2-inch florets. Par-boil for 6 to 7 minutes until firm but tender. Drain and spread florets on a towel so that it can wick out as much moisture as possible.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine; cook for 1 minute to ensure you get rid of the floury taste. Add mustard powder and black pepper. Drizzle in milk in a thin, steady stream, whisking the whole time so that no lumps form. Season with salt and bring mixture to a simmer while stirring with a whisk. The mixture should thicken. Reserve 2 tbsp of the cheddar and add the rest to the sauce a handful at a time, letting each handful melt before adding the next. Adjust seasoning if needed.
Place the broccoli florets in an ovenproof dish. Spoon over sauce and sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp cheese. Bake until until bronzed and bubbly, about 30 minutes.