Cheesy Broccoli Side
Carla Hall's Broccoli Gratin
- 2 large bunches of Broccoli (about 3 pounds florets)
- 5 tablespoons Butter
- 4 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 4 cups Milk
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
- 1 1/3 cups grated Gruyere Cheese
- 1/3 cup dry seasoned Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish and set it aside.
- Steam the broccoli florets in a large pot of boiling water fitted with a steamer basket for 5 to 7 minutes, until the florets are just tender. Rinse them in cold water, drain, and arrange them in a single layer in the buttered dish.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour until it forms a smooth paste. Continue whisking, cook for about 2 minutes, and then gradually add the milk – 1/3 cup at a time. Continue whisking and cook until the sauce is completely heated through, smooth, and thickened. Remove from the heat and season with the salt, thyme, and nutmeg.
- Pour 2 cups of the Béchamel sauce over the steamed broccoli and gently toss the florets to make sure they are thoroughly coated with the sauce.
- Bake the gratin, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir together the grated Gruyere cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle them over the gratin. Bake it for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the gratin is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned. Sprinkle the surface of the baked gratin with the ground pepper and serve hot.