Monday, May 21, 2012

Broccoli and Tomato Bake

I love this dish! With tomatoes coming in season, and broccoli all over the farmer's markets, this dish is a winner. I got the recipe from a dear friend and it's a hit every time I make it. Don't be afraid to try making a white sauce, it's not nearly as hard as you think it is. Just go slowly, and don't turn the heat up too high while you are whisking away! I promise extreme yummy goodness! It can also be make ahead of time, up to one day, if you like to cook in advance or keep it low stress when entertaining.

Broccoli and Tomates, baked in a creamy parmesan sauce

Broccoli and Tomato Bake

2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced

1 big crown of broccoli, separated into servings that are about 1 in. in the stem w/ a large floret on top

3 T. butter

3 T. flour

1 c. milk (lower fat it fine)

½ c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese**

Salt and pepper

½ c. Panko or regular bread crumbs (unseasoned)

1 T. melted butter

¼ c. additional shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Steam the broccoli spears for 3 minutes. Remove them from the heat and drain them. They should remain intact and bright green. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan and stir in the flour, making sure it is completely incorporated (we’re making a basic white sauce.) Keeping the heat on medium, add the milk and begin whisking the mixture. As the mixture begins to bubble, the sauce will thicken. Keep stirring. When it gets thick, add in the cheese, a pinch of salt and a little pepper. Stir until the cheese melts, and then turn it off. The sauce should be of pourable consistency. If it looks too thick, add a little more milk. Taste it and correct the seasoning, if needed.

Spray a 13 X 9” baking dish with cooking spray or wipe with a little oil. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the sliced tomatoes in a single layer in the bottom. Layer the broccoli florets over them. Pour the sauce evenly over the top of this. (At this point you may refrigerate the dish for up to one day, if you like to prepare in advance.) Sprinkle the dish with the bread crumbs and pour on the melted butter. Add the last ¼ c. grated Parmesan if using. Bake for 30 minutes, until hot throughout and bubbly. Serves 6.

**You can use any kind of cheese your family prefers. Cheddar and Swiss will both work well. The original recipe called for Parmesan, so that’s what I wrote

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