Recipe Source (sauce): Atkinson, Catherine et al. 400 Sauces. Anness Publishing, London, 2007 p. 51
I love broccoli. I have always loved broccoli. I would cheerfully live on broccoli alone, and I have lived on broccoli alone for months at a time. That wouldn't make very interesting reading for you, though. I like broccoli with other things too. I like broccoli with rice. I like broccoli with pasta. I like broccoli with beef. I like broccoli with tofu. I like broccoli with hummus. One thing I had never tried, despite seeing it on many menus and television commercials, was broccoli in a cheese sauce.
This seems kind of strange to me. I like broccoli. I like cheese. I think it's something about the cheese sauce presented that throws me off, the bright orange color. Cheese doesn't usually come in that color. I do not want it. I do not want any part of it, and I especially do not want any part of it anywhere near my precious broccoli. I was feeling a little hungry as I looked at the menu for our Christmas dinner, though, and I found myself thinking, "Oh, what the heck. It's Christmas." I decided that broccoli in a cheese sauce would be perfectly acceptable. I looked up a basic cheese sauce recipe in a pretty basic sauce book and went to town.
Well, I guess went to town is a bit of an exaggeration. I used a horseradish mustard to give a little kick and interest to the dish. I used whole wheat flour for the roux. I was all set to use cheddar the way that the original said - I found a very tasty, "seriously sharp" cheddar from Cabot on sale at my local bulk supply warehouse - when I found a smoked gruyere that just needed to be used up. I decided that was more fun and it would match better with the smoked lamb that was our main course. I shredded it in the food processor and I was on my way.
The sauce was a little lumpier than I really wanted it to be but ultimately I was very happy with it. My only complaint is that I wanted there to be more broccoli. Note to my husband: two broccolis are never enough!
Broccoli with Smoked Gruyere Sauce (serves 6; approx. $1.08/serving)
2 broccoli crowns, chopped
2 1/2 cups milk (I use 2%)
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces whole wheat floud
2 ounces horseradish mustard
4 ounces grated smoked Gruyere cheese
- Steamer - I use a bamboo steamer over a wok, you should use whatever works for you
- Melt the butter in the saucepan.
- Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until a nutty smell is achieved. Do not let it burn.
- Pour in the milk slowly, stirring constantly.
- Slowly bring to a boil, still stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to a simmer. Now you can start your steamer steaming; steam the broccoli to your desired degree of doneness.
- Once the milk has simmered about 3 - 4 minutes it should have thickened slightly. Add the mustard and cheese and stir until smooth.
- Turn out the broccoli into the serving vessel. Spoon some of the sauce over the broccoli and serve the rest alongside.