Saturday, April 11, 2015

Creamy Parmesan Cauliflower Broccoli Bake

True comfort food: Parmesan Cauliflower Broccoli Bake


This is one of my most favorite casseroles ever. Parmesan Cauliflower Broccoli Bake is a creamy, delicious vegetarian casserole. It makes a great side for just about any meal. It tastes super with or without the added tarragon, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme. You could also use Herbs de Provence or Fine Herbs as well. 

I made my own bread crumbs. It is healthier, super easy to do, and you can make it fresh for pennies. I made this delicious casserole for our Easter dinner this year and served it along side perfectly baked salmon (thanks to my cute husband) and roasted asparagus. It was a terrific meal. 
I have not done it yet, but I know this casserole would taste amazing with some crispy fried onions sprinkled on top along with the bread crumb topping. I am going to do this next time I make this casserole.

I hope you enjoy this comforting casserole as much as we do.



Parmesan Cauliflower Broccoli Bake Recipe:

1/2 c. Herb & Garlic bread crumbs (like Progresso brand), or home made *
2 T. melted butter
1 lb fresh cauliflower florets and stems
1 lb fresh broccoli florets and stems
1/4 c. plus 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. butter (can omit and just use a non-stick spray for the pan, but butter is better!)
1 large onion, diced
A pinch of baking soda
1 1/4 c. organic milk
4 ounces neufchatel or cream cheese, softened
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. onion salt
1/2 t. BioSalt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A pinch each of tarragon, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme, optional


Method:

Wash and trim the cauliflower and broccoli. Peel the tough outer skin off the broccoli stem. dice the broccoli and cauliflower stems into small bite sized pieces. If using frozen cauliflower and broccoli, thaw them completely first. Cut the florets into bite sized pieces.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a deep 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the dry breadcrumbs, 2 T. melted butter, and 2 T. Parmesan. Set aside.

In a large pan saute diced onion until tender in 1 T. butter and a pinch of baking soda, to aid caramelization. (You may just use a non-stick spray instead, but it isn't as tasty.)

Sprinkle flour over cooking onions and stir in well. Saute another minute.

Pour milk over cooking onions and stir in well, until it starts to thicken.

Add the neufchatel or cream cheese and the 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheeses melt.

Add the garlic powder, seasoned salt, onion salt, and fresh ground pepper. Stir in well and taste.

Add up to 1/2 t. BioSalt, to taste.

Add herbs, to taste, optional.

Add the vegetables and toss well to coat. Scrape into the prepared casserole dish.

Sprinkle the top with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and vegetables are tender.



* To Make the Topping using Quick Home Made Bread Crumbs:

1 heel of a loaf of whole grain bread, crumbled fine
1/4 t. Garlic powder
A pinch each of tarragon, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme
The 2 T. butter called for above


Method:

In a small non-stick frying pan placed over medium heat, transfer the fine bread crumbs. Stir the crumbs around if they are not dried out yet, and gently toast them.

Put the garlic and herbs in the pan and stir a bit until they are fragrant.

Add the 2 T. butter called for and saute until the crumbs are well coated and remove from heat.

Let cool a bit before adding the 2 T. Parmesan cheese. Proceed with the recipe above.



Fresh out of the oven.

A perfect dinner.


Enjoy,

Leila.