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. 

 

 

Toasted wild garlic bread

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It is no secret that Swedes take their seafood seriously. More or less every Friday of my childhood we had prawns (or crayfish when it was in season) for supper. Served as above with boiled eggs (cooked after everyone’s different preference), mayonnaise and a nice salas (preferably with avocado) this is such a relaxing way of eating prawns, peeling as you go.

And the prawns taste so much more when bought unpeeled. I find it so sad that it is near impossible to find unpeeled cold water prawns in the supermarkets here.

This meal wouldn’t be complete without some nice bread though, and sometimes we would just get a fresh loaf from the bakery and eat it untoasted with plenty of butter, or sometimes we’d have toasted bread or homemade garlic bread. With plenty of freshly picked wild garlic though, the choice was easy; I wanted to make toasted wild garlic bread. And it was just as delicious as I expected it to be. Prettier than regular garlic bread too, with its vibrant green colour.

Wild garlic grows all around the Southern parts of the UK at least, but if you struggle to forage some you can buy it from a good greengrocer (in Borough Market for example).

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Toasted wild garlic bread, serves 3-4

100 g softened salted butter

1 handful wild garlic, finely chopped

salt and white pepper after taste

12 pieces of good crusty bread

Mix the wild garlic with the softened butter until well combined. Season with salt and white pepper. Divide between the bread pieces and spread evenly. Place on a baking tray and toast in a 180-200C oven for 10-15 minutes until the bread is crispy and the butter has melted. Serve warm.