When it comes to comfort food, little is more comfy than macaroni and cheese. On the flip side, few things are as fattening. For those watching the caloric intake, try this snazzy little dish that swaps the pasta for cauliflower but still packs a downhome Southern wallop.
Snowy Broccoli and Cauliflower Bake
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound broccoli florets
- 1 pound cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- Low-fat milk
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons unbleached flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Small dash of ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- Optional: 3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- In a large saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add broccoli and cauliflower; cook just until slightly tender yet crisp. Drain broccoli and cauliflower, removing as much water as possible. Set liquid to side.
- Add milk to the vegetable liquid to measure a total of 2 1/2 cups. Pour vegetables into a shallow 2-quart baking dish.* Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Blend in the flour, stirring until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in milk mixture.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Season with the salt, pepper, herbs and nutmeg. Pour sauce over broccoli and cauliflower. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and paprika; sprinkle over vegetables. Bake at 450° for about 20 minutes, until casserole is bubbly.
*For a cheesier dish, add a 3/4 cup of Monterey Jack cheese. Combine with broccoli and cauliflower in the baking dish once vegetables are cooked.
The official chef of Florida, Justin Timineri, shares some of his recipes with us. A proponent of eating healthy, locally grown and harvested produce and seafood, Timineri creates recipes that imbue that Fresh From Florida flavor. For more on Chef Justin, click here.
Recipes and images courtesy of Chef Justin Timineri and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For more recipes from Timineri’s kitchen, click here.