Every Thanksgiving, I like to try one or two new side dishes. We always have the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and rolls, but when it comes to the vegetables, I like mix it up a bit. This year I made this wonderful broccoli gratin. I really had no doubt that this recipe would be delicious and I didn’t even make a test run before the big day.
This recipe takes the classic broccoli and cheese sauce to a whole new level. Freshly steamed broccoli is layered with a rich and creamy white sauce and sharp cheddar cheese, then topped with fresh bread crumbs toasted in butter. Can you see why I knew this would be delicious?
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds broccoli (about 4 heads), cut into small florets (about 8 cups)
- 1.5 cups freshly grated sharp Cheddar
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish or an 8-cup gratin 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, 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the white sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring about 1-inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan and set up a collapsible steamer on top. Put the broccoli in the steamer and season with salt. Cover, and steam until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Put the broccoli in the prepared dish, sprinkle with half of the cheese and pour on the sauce. Cover with the remaining cheese.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Cover the gratin with the bread crumbs. Bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Source: Slightly adapted from foodnetwork.com.
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