Recipe: broccoli cheese

 

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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.

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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. 

 

 

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Orzo pasta with wild garlic pesto, courgette and feta

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I snapped this picture as I was throwing this pasta together for lunch the next day, but I must say it exceeded my expectations so much I wish I had allowed myself time to take a nicer picture.

This is another dish where the sum is (much) greater than the individual parts; it’s just a simple dish that works. I love every bite of the slightly al dente pasta coated in fresh wild garlic pesto, the crunch from the raw thinly sliced baby courgettes, the bigger bits of tender-but-not-too-tender broccoli and the slightly melted pieces of tangy feta. I urge you to try it for your next picnic, barbecue or quick weekday supper.

Orzo pasta with wild garlic pesto, courgettes and feta, serves 2

200 ml orzo 

2-3 tbsp wild garlic pesto

1 baby courgette, thinly sliced

4 stems tenderstem broccoli 

100 g feta

a little olive oil if needed 

salt & pepper

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Put the broccoli in boiling salted water and cook until a little tender but still al dente and cut each stem into four. Drain the pasta in a sieve and pour it back into the empty saucepan. Stir in the pesto and add a little olive oil if needed. Add the courgette slices and the broccoli. Mix together and season to taste. Add the crumbled feta and stir once more before serving. 

Chicken noodles

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Most people probably already have a go-to chicken noodle or stir fry recipe, but not me. So I looked at one of Jamie’s and then amended it a little (that’s usually how I roll). The result was a nice mixture of soft noodles and chicken, crunchy carrots and peanuts and freshness from lime and coriander. And like most stir-fries, it takes mere minutes to make.

Chicken noodles, serves 2

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe.

oil for frying

1 garlic clove, chopped

a few spring onions, chopped

1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

1 lime, cut into wedges

2-3 chicken thigh fillets

1 carrot, cut into matchsticks

1/2  broccoli crown, cut into small florets 

2 egg noodle nests

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tbsp fish sauce

a handful peanuts

1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped

salt & pepper

Cook the noodles according to the packet. Rinse and put aside.

Heat up the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Trim the chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Fry them until golden. Add salt and pepper. Then add garlic and chilli to the pan and thereafter spring onions, carrot pieces and broccoli. After a minute or so, add the noodles and heat up.  Add soy and fish sauce, squeeze some lime and season to taste. Top with peanuts and coriander. Serve with lime wedges. 

Broccoli parmesan fritters

Just like Deb at Smitten Kitchen I love fritters and her recipe for broccoli parmesan ones is really good. Eating them on their own their nice enough, but serve with a super easy sauce with creme fraiche, parmesan and lemon zest and this is amazing. Promise!

Eat these for lunch, supper or cook them for your friends at brunch. Just make them, ok?!

Broccoli parmesan fritter, serves 4

Adapted after  Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

ca 225 g broccoli

1 egg

65 g plain flour

30 g grated parmesan

1 small garlic clove

1/2 tsp salt

black pepper

oil for frying

Cut the broccoli stem into pieces and divide the crown into florets. Bring to the boil in salted water and let it cook for 3-4 minutes if you like them firm, a few more minutes if a bit softer. Drain. 

Beat the egg in a bowl and add the cheese, garlic, flour, salt and pepper. Mix the broccoli in a food processor or mash with a potato masher. Add to the mixture.

Fry in oil on medium heat. Serve with a cold sauce. 

Cold sauce with parmesan and lemon

200 ml creme fraiche

2 tbsp grated parmesan

1/2 lemon, the zest

salt and pepper

Mix and serve. 

Broccoli and Stilton soup

This soup is not Scandinavian at all, but something I have embraced in my new country. The combination of sweet broccoli and tangy stilton is lovely and makes this soup both filling and comforting (no wonder considering the amout of cheese…)

Although containing a lot of cheese, there is just a hint of Stilton in the flavour, and that is exactly how I like it, and this way you can serve it to non-Stilton lovers too.

 

Broccoli and Stilton soup, serves 4

750 g broccoli, including the stem, cut in small pieces

water

600-700 ml homemade chicken stock, hot

50 ml water

150 ml single cream

75 g Stilton

salt, white pepper

Cook the broccoli until very soft in salted water. Drain. Add the stock and blend until smooth. Add water and cream and bring to the boil. Add the cheese (crumbled) and let it melt while stirring. Season with salt and pepper.