Broccoli was a hard vegetable for me to learn to love. I hated it as a kid, and the lasting memories of over cafeteria trays of broccoli, overcooked, limp and watery, turned me off for years. But then entered broccoli soup....mmm…not to bad. Broccoli Mac and Cheese or Fettucini alfredo (who couldn’t love anything covered in cheese sauce). And as I had more “good broccoli” I began to like it more and more. I still rarely eat it plain, but I love it as an ingredient, and in this recipe video, I show you how to make a broccoli gratin. The gratin has a combination of flavors and textures, and is a great way to keep the dish healthy while jazzing it up. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
To make the best Broccoli Gratin just make sure you to do the following:
- First and foremost, I hate overcooked broccoli and would much rather have it a bit undercooked than over cooked. So…take it off the stove top when it’s just turning tender, and let it finish in the oven. You should also cut the broccoli pieces the same size as that will help keep them evenly cooked.
- The onion and the pinenuts are pretty key in this dish. The shallots provide a ton of great flavor, and the toasted pinenuts provide a nice contrast in texture.
- Mixing the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese with a bit of olive oil, allows them to get really crisp in the oven, and provides a much better flavor and texture than if you use them dry
RECIPE FOR BROCCOLI GRATIN
Ingredients for Broccoli Gratin (for 4)
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into 1 – 2 inch pieces
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons of toasted pinenuts
- 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons of finely grated parmesan cheese
Making the Broccoli Gratin
- Toast the pinenuts and set them aside to cool (you can do this hours ahead of time)
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees
- Slice the onion and add to a sauté pan over medium heat with enough olive oil to coat the pan. Season with salt and pepper
- Continue to cook until the onion is translucent, then add the chopped broccoli and garlic (add more olive oil if needed)
- Season with salt and pepper, toss and cook for 5 – 7 minutes over medium heat, or until the broccoli just starts to become tender (if the garlic or onion start to brown, add a few tablespoons of water)
- In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese with a couple teaspoons of olive oil, and mix together to moisten the bread crumbs
- Add the pinenuts to the broccoli and toss together
- Move the broccoli to a gratin dish (I use individual ones in the video, but a single large one is fine) or any oven proof pan or dish
- Top with the bread crumbs and move it into the oven
- Allow it to cook for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the top is browned, and the broccoli is tender, but still has a bite to it
- Pop the broccoli gratin out of the oven, and serve
Wine Recommendation: While I generally serve this dish as side to something more substantial, it would make a great lunch or light dinner on its own or with some good bread. I’d serve a Sauvignon Blanc, that is nice and grassy, with good acid that is crisp on the pallet. One from New Zealand would be a great choice.