Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin Recipe

When I was a kid, broccoli was a persistent companion at the dinner table.

Often, to get us to eat more of it (or to eat it at all) it was accompanied by Cheez Whiz.

And I’m not gonna lie: it was delicious.

Usually the whole jar was microwaved, stirred at 30 second increments until it was hot and gooey.  But sometimes my mom would simply glop a few spoonfuls into a small bowl and heat it up in that.

Even Martha Stewart admitted that she loves Velveeta cheese—sliced and eaten straight off the log—though she would never stoop to buy it herself.

And while I hesitate to align myself with Martha (marzipan zoo animals for a 1 year-old’s birthday cake? Why, lady?) I have to say that I am with her on the ‘Cheese Product’ front.

I love it, but can never bring myself to buy it—usually because of the ingredients list, but sometimes because of the cost.

Occasionally I’ll find myself secretly pining for it when faced with (yet another) side of steamed broccoli on my plate.

But no more.

This recipe is like the grown-up version of Cheez Whiz on broccoli—only it’s gotten a respectable sounding-name and polished up its resume (a.k.a. ingredients list) to boot.

And best of all, it’s nearly as easy—stir the ingredients together, spread it over the veggies and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes.

This stuff was so good I ate the leftovers the next day as an after-work snack.

The recipe calls for plain yogurt, but I had some sour cream on hand that I needed to use up, so I used that.  In a pinch—or if you are Southern—you could also substitute mayonnaise (and in this case I’m pretty sure that ‘Southern’ is a euphemism for ‘white trash’).

I also jazzed mine up a little by adding curry powder and garlic and onion powders, but choose your own adventure there—we like to spice things up around here.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin Recipe
adapted from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Vegetarian Cooking
1 small cauliflower
1 head of broccoli
½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt or mayo
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon spicy brown or Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon mild (not hot) curry powder (optional)
½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
½ teaspoon onion powder (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2-3 Tablespoons bread crumbs

Cut broccoli and cauliflower into bite-size florets and steam (or boil) until tender, 8-12 minutes.  Drain well and transfer to a baking dish.

Stir together all other ingredients except bread crumbs until evenly mixed.  Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if necessary.  Spoon mixture over broccoli and cauliflower and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.  Broil until bubbly and golden brown.

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