I used to work as a waitress in a lovely little local pub. All their food was freshly made and sourced locally and as a result, it was always busy. One of the dishes they served was a Cheesy Broccoli Bake. It was a popular dish consisting of potato, onion and broccoli cooked in a creamy white wine sauce, topped with cheese. It was delicious, so after I left, I started trying to recreate it at home. This is my version of that lovely, homely, veggie dish.
I’ve left out the potatoes and used a mixture of broccoli and cauliflower instead, and added a cheesy, breadcrumb topping that adds a lovely crunchy texture. I’ve played around with different herbs, seasonings and spices over the years, but I’ve found it doesn’t need a lot, just a bit of black pepper and nutmeg to deepen the flavour.
This dish is lovely served with just a handful of sweet potato wedges, but it would be great as a side dish to a nice piece of fish or chicken if you’re cooking for a meat eater, too. To make this recipe gluten free, just use gluten free bread for the topping.
You can freeze any leftovers in airtight containers and just heat them through in the microwave at a later date. But if you know you’re not going to eat the full thing, once you’ve mixed the cheese into the broccoli and cauliflower, before you bake it, split it into portions in foil trays. Then you can just pop a tray straight into the oven when you’re ready to have it again and cook it for 20mins, then add the cheesy breadcrumb topping and bake for 20mins again. Just make sure it’s piping hot all the way through before serving.
Ready in 50 mins (10 mins prep, 10 mins on the hob, 30 mins bake) – Serves 4.
- 1 large white onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
- 300mls of double cream
- 200mls of white wine
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 good pinches of black pepper
- 2 good pinches of nutmeg
- 300g of broccoli, cut into small florets
- 300g of cauliflower, cut into small florets (find my tips on cauliflower prep here)
- 150g of cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 slice of frozen bread (use gluten free bread to make this recipe gluten free)
- Preheat oven to 200c / 180c fan / gas mark 6.
- Put the onion and oil into a pan and place on the hob over a medium/high heat.
- Fry for a few mins until the onions are translucent, then add the garlic.
- Cook for a few mins, then add the double cream, wine, stock cube, and a good pinch each of black pepper and nutmeg.
- Mix well and bring to a simmer.
- Add the broccoli and cauliflower, mix well, cover and simmer for 5 mins.
- Add 100g of the grated cheese and mix well.
- Once the cheese has melted and mixed into the cauliflower and broccoli, pour into an oven proof dish and bake for 15mins.
- Meanwhile, grate the frozen slice of bread and mix it with the rest of the cheese, a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of black pepper.
- Spread evenly on top of the broccoli and cauliflower and return to the oven for 15 mins.
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