A couple of weeks ago, Rhett brought over a bowl of piping hot roasted broccoli and cauliflower in a cheesy, creamy, amazing sauce. I had told him, “No, I’m too busy to eat. I’m writing,” and rejected his offer to come over and try the broccoli gratin he had made from a Pinterest post. Lucky for me, Rhett wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and brought the bowl to my office. And I was glad for it too–despite my insistence that “no,” I wasn’t hungry, the gratin was the perfect kind of dish–not too decadent, but just decadent enough, and filled with flavor. I could sense long roasted garlic, buttery greens, and a subtle amandine taste. I had been so busy writing and wrapping presents that I didn’t have time to cook for several days. This year, I decided I wanted to make homemade presents for many of my friends and got really excited when I discovered glass paint at Hobby Lobby and made these intricately traced martini glasses:
Then, I tried my hand at a much loftier project and glued this wreath together (my doorway will forever have silver glitter on it):
But at the end of the day, it was Rhett’s gratin that made me smile most. Something about not having to cook and a tasty bowl of cheese and roasted vegetables showing up at your doorstep was just what I needed, especially since Baton Rouge has been surprisingly chilly as of late.
Since the surprise gratin visit, I’ve made this dish several times. It’s just that good. The cream sauce is uniquely healthy using whole wheat flour and almond meal to add body and flavor. Although I imagine most people serve gratins as a side dish, I think the unique combination of buttery greens and creamy sauce makes for a wonderful vegetarian entrée. Pair the gratin with a leafy salad or just eat it as its own meal. This Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin is perfect when you have little time to cook and just a few ingredients for a piping bowl of vegetables and creamy sauce.
Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin
Yield: 5-6 servings
Calories: 289.1 (see here for full nutritional information)
Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
This recipe is adapted from the blog Running to the Kitchen (here). I’ve made this recipe several times and, liking it so much, decided to double it because I just wanted more gratin. Here, I’ve used regular milk instead of almond and added a sweeter, homemade version of almond meal.
*1 head broccoli, washed and cut into bite-size florets
*1 head cauliflower, washed and cut into bite-size florets
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*1 head garlic
*Salt and pepper, to taste
*2 tablespoons butter
*1 cup milk (skim milk works fine)
*2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
*1 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
*Salt and pepper, to taste
*1 teaspoon thyme
*3 tablespoons almond meal (combine 1/2 cup sliced almonds & 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar and grind finely in a coffee grinder or spice mill; use 3 tablespoons of this mixture)
1.) Preheat oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2.) Wash broccoli and cauliflower, removing woody ends. Cut heads into bite-size florets and spread evenly across two baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
3.) Cut off the top of the garlic head (about 1/2 inch down) and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and add to one of the baking sheets. Roast garlic and florets for 15-20 minutes (or until tender).
4.) Remove from oven and transfer broccoli and cauliflower to a casserole dish.
5.) Add butter to a non-stick skillet and press garlic out of paper skin and into the skillet. Melt butter over low heat and mash garlic with a wooden spoon. Roast for 1 minute and whisk in flour. Roast for 30 seconds and whisk in milk. Continue whisking until thick and bubbly.
6.) Remove mixture from heat and stir in Parmesan until melted. Season with more salt and pepper to taste and thyme. Pour mixture evenly over broccoli and cauliflower and sprinkle with almond meal.
7.) Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for several minutes, and serve. Makes 5-6 servings.
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Written by: Helana Brigman