Broccoli au gratin are a great recipe if you want to make a rich and tasty side dish to pair with meat main courses, egg omelettes or aged cheeses, especially during cold seasons. Choose very fresh, crunchy and deep green broccoli, then blanch them in salted water for just 5 minutes. Season with a creamy béchamel, diced mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese, then cook in the oven. The result will be au gratin on the surface and stringy at the heart.
It is a simple and at the same time appetizing dish, which will appeal to even the most vegetable reluctant children. Broccoli au gratin is perfect for a family lunch or a quick but equally satisfying meal; excellent both hot and lukewarm, you can also prepare them in advance and reheat them just before bringing them to the table. So let’s find out how to make this delicious recipe by following step by step instructions and tips.
Yes! You can make the sauce and cut the broccoli 2 days before, then store them in the refrigerator and bring the sauce to a simmer before serving broccoli au gratin.
To reduce the strong smell of broccoli, add 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar to the cooking water.
After blanching the broccoli, you can brown them in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a clove of garlic, before putting them in the pan with the béchamel and the rest of the ingredients.
If you want to prepare light broccoli au gratin, once blanched, let them cool and then transfer them to a baking dish with oil, salt and grated parmesan cheese. Put in the oven for a few minutes using the grill and serve.
You can also use frozen broccoli, just thaw it and get rid of the excess water.
You can also replace the mozzarella cheese with another stretched curd cheese, such as scamorza or smoked provola, and add diced speck or cooked ham, for a complete and even tastier dish.
For dairy-free broccoli au gratin, you can make the béchamel with dairy-free milk and butter – also with vegetable drinks and extra virgin olive oil – so as to enjoy the dish in complete tranquility.
For light broccoli au gratin, you can make the broccoli au gratin without bechamel, simply mix 100 ml of milk with 1 egg and a handful of grated parmesan cheese; then pour the mixture over the broccoli, add diced cheese to taste and then put it in the oven to brown it.
You can store the broccoli au gratin in the refrigerator for a maximum of 1-2 days, in an airtight container. It is best not to freeze broccoli au gratin.
In a saucepan pour the milk (1).
Put on the fire and heat up (2).
Meanwhile, put the butter in another saucepan (3).
Melt it over low heat (4).
Once melted, pour in the flour (5) and mix with a wooden spoon.
Put on the fire and cook the roux for a few moments (6).
Dilute the roux with the hot milk (7).
Put on the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened (8).
Add a pinch of salt (9).
Flavor with ground pepper (10).
Clean the broccoli and cut out the florets. Cut the stems into chunks (11).
Wash everything carefully under cold running water (12).
Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water for just 5 minutes (13). Drain and set aside.
Cut the mozzarella into pieces (14).
Pour the bechamel over the broccoli (15).
Add the mozzarella (16).
Add the cheese (17) and mix well.
Pour the broccoli into a lightly oiled pan; sprinkle with the remaining cheese (18) and cook in the oven at 350° F for about 20 minutes, or in any case until the surface is well au gratin.
At this point, take the broccoli out of the oven, let it cool slightly and then serve (19).