Thursday, June 2, 2016

Creamy Broccoli

This recipe was basically an accident. A very happy accident according to Nick. I’m not crazy about broccoli. I’m trying, but it’s just not a vegetable I can get very excited about. Turning it into something cheesy and creamy definitely helps though.

I had plans of making some sort of combination of creamed spinach and spinach casserole (something I’m still planning to try in the future). We had a large tub of spinach in the fridge that needed to be used, and I was in the mood to cook. The use by date on the spinach was two days away, so I assumed it was fine. With two days to go it should have been fine, but when I opened the tub the spinach smelled bad, and was slimy. Using that seemed more like a recipe for disaster than anything good.

I had already started cooking and baking some other things, so going out to buy more spinach wasn’t an option. I really didn’t want to just open a can of green beans. That just seemed so boring. So I decided it was time to improvise. We had broccoli in the freezer, so I decided to adapt what I had in mind for the spinach to work for broccoli. 

The broccoli I used was a bag of florets that I think were already partially steamed. It’s the kind that cooks in its bag in the microwave. I think it would be fine to use just plain frozen broccoli florets, but I think they would need to spend a little more time on the stove.

Creamy Broccoli

12 oz. bag frozen broccoli florets

1 Tbsp, plus 1/4 tsp salt (I know that sounds like a lot of salt, but most of it goes in water that gets drained)

5 cups water

½ cup finely chopped onion

2 gloves garlic, minced or pressed

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup half and half

1 cup whole milk

3 Tbsp butter, plus more for greasing the pan

1 & 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp pepper

In a large pot, bring water and 1 Tbsp salt to a full boil. Stir in broccoli, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain well. Return to pot or large mixing bowl.

In a medium pan melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion just begins to become translucent.

Add flour, stirring constantly for 1 - 2 minutes, just until four begins to turn golden.

Whisk in half and half and milk, whisking until well combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 7 - 10 minutes, until it’s thickened. Stir in 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted, about one minute.

Add mixture to broccoli, along with nutmeg, pepper, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Stir until well combined.

Pour mixture into generously butter square baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges begin to bubble.

Enjoy! (Or mostly enjoy, while kind of wishing it was spinach instead.)


  1. It does look good and certainly creative! Some of the best dishes get made by having to substitute this and that.


  2. Not a big broccoli fan myself. But I bet my daughter and grandchildren would love this. YUM.

  3. Maybe without the cheese... (Not a fan of cheese.)

  4. Maybe without the cheese... (Not a fan of cheese.)

  5. Hey, that sounds pretty darned tasty! How cool that it came about kind of by accident. :)

  6. Hi Danielle,

    That looks like a mighty fine recipe concoction. Quite healthy, although at five in the morning, I'll stick to a bit of cereal :)

    Goodnight from England.



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